Court Battles

White House urges court to toss lawsuit preventing states from importing prescription drugs


The Biden administration on Friday asked a federal court to toss a lawsuit that is seeking to prevent states from importing cheap prescription drugs from Canada.

The White House said in a court filing that a lawsuit being brought by pharmaceutical companies was premature since no decision has yet been formalized over whether to give the green light to any import programs.

“To date, no SIPs have been authorized. Although two proposals have been submitted to FDA, no timeline exists for the agency to make a decision. Thus, the possible future injuries to Plaintiffs’ members are overly speculative and not imminent, involving an attenuated chain of possibilities with independent third-parties and discretionary decisions of various government actors,” the administration wrote.

The Biden administration’s legal filing came the same day that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said the plan could save Florida taxpayers as much as $150 million on drug costs in the first year of the program. DeSantis first signed a bill in 2019 to allow the importation, but the plan needs federal approval to move forward.

Thus far, only Florida and New Mexico have formally submitted requests to the administration to approve plans for drugs to be brought in from Canada, though others are expected to join that effort.      

“As a state, you’re limited in what you can do in this realm because this is something that is heavily regulated by federal law,” DeSantis said at a press conference Friday. “We want the Biden administration to approve this. We think if they act immediately, we’ll be able to provide safe and effective drugs to drive down prescription costs here in Florida.”

“The time is now,” he added.

Tags Food and Drug Administration Joe Biden Pharmaceuticals policy Prescription drug Ron DeSantis

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