Closing Keynote: Jason Weida, Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, discusses state’s new drug importation program


Shane Ersland


Jason Weida, secretary at the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, discussed the state’s new drug importation program

The Food and Drug Administration recently authorized Florida to import certain prescription drugs from Canada, aiming to give residents access to lower drug prices paid by people in that country. It was the first time the FDA has granted authority for a state to safely import drugs from another country.

“I think, and a lot of people think, that drug prices in this country are way too high. We are a state, and we cannot solve the drug cost crisis ourselves. But we’re going to do what we can. Many states had applied before. Their applications languished or didn’t succeed. We were the first to be approved. That was the first step. Now we’re working closely with our vendor to negotiate with Canadian wholesalers to interact with the Canadian government to make this program successful.”

— Weida

The initiative is a complicated political issue in Canada, however, and is a sensitive issue among big pharmaceutical companies as well, Weida said. 

“Those are the two obstacles we’re currently dealing with. But we are working just as hard now as we have before, and are looking forward to having this program be a success.” 

— Weida

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