New ads slam ‘risky’ drug import plan

drug ad
“Too many have already died from counterfeit drugs."

The Partnership for Safe Medicines has unleashed a second volley in its campaign to stop lawmakers from allowing Canadian drugs into Florida.

Last week, the group announced it was launching a statewide ad campaign warning Floridians that allowing import drugs could open the door for dangerous counterfeit medications that may not even be Canadian sourced.

On Thursday, PSM doubled down with an ad featuring quotes from former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb and The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board, both of which have blasted the plan.

“State senators are pushing a new government program that allows prescription drugs from China without FDA inspection,” the ad narrator states. “An FDA commissioner warned these drugs come from quote ‘unreliable parties and counterfeiters.’ The Wall Street Journal calls it ‘impractical, unsafe and unlikely to reduce prices.’

“Too many have already died from counterfeit drugs. Are you willing to take that risk? Tell your state senator to: vote no on SB 1528,” the ad concludes.

The ad comes in 15-second and 30-second varieties and will begin hitting TV today. PSM’s prior media buy included Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, Orlando, Jacksonville, Fort Myers, and Tallahassee media markets.

In a news release announcing the ads, PSM noted that Gottlieb is one of several former FDA commissioners who have publicly opposed drug importation plans. Four others signed on to a 2017 letter condemning the idea, and scores of other medical experts have done the same.

The bills that would allow drug imports, HB 19 and SB 1528, have zoomed through the Legislature and have the backing of Gov. Ron DeSantis.

HB 19 was greenlit by the full House last week in a 93-22 vote. The Senate companion is one committee stop away from a floor vote.

PSM’s ads are below.

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


  • Charles Brown

    April 19, 2019 at 4:16 am

    I am a registered nurse with many years of service. I went through a period of approximately a year where I did not have health insurance. Being a diabetic this is not the best place to be. I researched sources for Canadian drugs. I purchased drugs there during this time and the products were the same brands atone quarter the cost. I 100% support importing drugs to help our citizens.

    • Richard manegre

      April 23, 2019 at 12:35 pm

      As an Asmatic,the price of U.S. Advair went from 3 months co-pay of $127.00 to $399.00 a month…How many of us can afford this even with Medicare.Lets try to take care of our own for a change instead of all the others……

  • Barbara W haynie

    April 20, 2019 at 8:57 am

    Drew I appreciate your comment on the drug situation. I find it interesting that all the interest from doctors drug stores say drugs from Canada are not safe. I really feel that drug companies some doctors and drug stores are making a shit load of of the backs of those of us that have to pay hundreds of dollars for our medications.It is really sad that at this time in our country a lot of people scam us. I really do not recognize this usa I live in. Thanks for your comments. Barbara Haynie

  • Virginia

    April 22, 2019 at 4:09 pm

    Strange, I can’t find just who these people are that are opposing this bill. They insist that medications made in foreign countries are all tainted. I don’t believe them. We need to stop the ridiculous cost of drugs in its tracks, and this is one way to do it. It’s time to send a message to the drug companies that we won’t stand for it anymore! People are dying because they cannot afford their medications. I’m talking about medications that 20 years ago cost $5 now they’re costing $300! If a drug is good enough for the Canadians, is good enough for me.

  • Chris T.

    April 22, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    According to Kaiser Health News, the “nonprofit organization that has orchestrated a wide-reaching campaign against foreign drug imports has deep ties to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, the powerhouse lobbying group that includes Eli Lilly, Pfizer and Bayer.” The Partnership for Safe Medicines is a front for the pharmaceutical companies.

  • Max

    April 22, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    So SB1528 is to allow Canada to import drugs to the US ..not China. So call this Ad what it is, an outright lie.

  • Marilyn

    April 24, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    I saw this ad and immediately thought it was backed by big Pharma to keep us in their grips. We have bought drugs through Canadian pharmacies and they cost about one-third and are the same as we get here.
    Glad our congressmen are searching for an answer to this problem. Save money!

  • Bill

    April 27, 2019 at 11:15 pm

    I wish people would actually read and do some research before hitting the panic button. SB1528 wants to allow the import of Canadian prescription drugs, NOT China. It’s about time we put some pressure on big pharma. When people have to choose between eating or prescriptions or choose between paying their light bill or buying medicine, there is a huge problem.

    Prescription Drug Importation Programs; Requiring the Agency for Health Care Administration to establish the Canadian Prescription Drug Importation Program; requiring the agency to contract with a vendor to facilitate wholesale prescription drug importation under the program; providing eligibility criteria for prescription drugs, Canadian suppliers, and importers under the program; authorizing a Canadian supplier to export drugs into this state under the program under certain circumstances, etc.

Comments are closed.


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