DeSantis seeks savings by importing prescription drugs from Canada

To accommodate their medical needs while saving money, many Southwest Florida residents are purchasing their medications out of the country at a discount.

It is a method Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced this week when he proposed his new plan to bring less expensive FDA-approved prescription drugs from Canada.

It is an idea one Canadian in North Fort Myers supports.

“To be honest with you,” said Beth, who did not one to give her last name, “I wish we could get our prescriptions down here while we’re down here.”

Beth said prescriptions in the north are much cheaper to buy. Canada negotiates the costs of drugs sold and keeps them at lower prices. Beth and her husband bring a three month supply of prescriptions to Southwest Florida when they visit for the winter months.

Suzanne Van Drus, a manager at Discount Med Direct in Port Charlotte, said they already work with an international pharmacy to save Floridians money on imported prescriptions.

Drus is not sure how the governor’s plan would affect her business. Right now, only the¬†Food and Drug Administration approved drugs are legally allowed to be brought into the United States and generally, not more than a three month supply.

Discount Med Direct claims it can save customers 30 percent to 80 percent on costs, just by obtaining the drugs outside the United States.

“We’re basically helping people facilitate that importation,” Drus said.

While the model Discount Med Direct has to find savings for customers works, DeSantis is likely to see bigger savings as the State of Florida has a more massive budget, leading to bulk discounts for residents.

To accomplish his plan, the governor is working with the Trump Administration.

“This is just one part of what we hope to do to bring some sanity to our healthcare system,” DeSantis said.

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Reporter:Channing Frampton
Writer:Michael Mora
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