This editorial by Boris Epshteyn on ABC-affiliate WJLA on April 25, 2019. Epshteyn formerly served as a Senior Advisor to the Trump Campaign and served in the White House as Special Assistant to The President and Assistant Communications Director for Surrogate Operations.
BOTTOM LINE: Florida's drug import proposal is very risky
I believe that a proposal meant to cut drug costs that is backed by Republicans in the Florida state legislature is misguided.
The idea, which is also supported by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, would allow for Florida to import cheaper drugs from Canada.
I think this is a risky plan that will make it difficult to ensure that Floridians are receiving real and safe medicine.
Proponents of importing drugs argue that this safety point is invalid because it is often made by the very U.S. pharma lobby that benefits from keeping imports out. However, according to the World Health Organization, one in ten medical products in the developing world are found to be counterfeit.
And just in February of this year the FDA warned that a Canadian company had been caught selling unsafe medicines. There is also the dangerous potential that drugs could be sent through Canada to the U.S. from other countries, such as China.
There are safer ways to lower drug costs in our country– such as fully dismantling regulations that protect drug companies from competing with one another.
Here’s the bottom line: The Trump administration would have to approve this risky drug import plan if it becomes Florida state law.
I do think that the risks here outweigh the benefits which should be achieved through lowering prices on American medicine, instead of bringing in drugs from who knows where.