Things we learned from sending a Freedom of Information Act request to Florida’s healthcare agency implementing importation

PSM filed comments recently with the state of Florida’s healthcare agency that’s attempting to make the mess of Canadian drug importation work after the legislature passed it without any serious scrutiny. After we filed comments, we subsequently filed a request to see who else filed comments and we’re left now with more questions than answers.

  1. It looks like Ernst and Young is excited to help Florida implement Canadian drug importation over the objection of Canada itself, drug manufacturers, drug wholesalers, pharmacists, and many patient groups. (” We would welcome the opportunity to help the Agency…”) It seems odd though that Ernst and Young brags in their document about helping a Canadian government entity with a Drug Purchasing Contract, but might also find themselves helping Florida remove medicine from that same province on behalf of the state of Florida. Also, if Ernst and Young does work for Canadian entities harmed by Florida’s importation plan, at what point does that become a conflict within Ernst and Young? 
  2. Health agency consulting group Maximus, Inc says they can help implement the Florida importation plan. It’s interesting though to see that Maximus’ Canadian division works with many governmental entities in Canada such as British Columbia, Yukon Territory, Northwest Territories, Nunavut Territory, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Inuit nation of Nunatsiavut, and Ontario. They handle pharmacy claims programs for many of these entities.  Would these governments be happy to know Maximus is also offering to help Americans remove medicine from their governments’ drug supplies for export to the state of Florida?
  3. Weirdly, we heard from colleagues at the State Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Epilepsy Association of the Big Bend that they had filed a response to the RFI but the state of Florida did not provide to us back in our RFI response FOIA request. Are there other responses that were filed that were did not receive?

If you know anything about these questions, please let us know.