Skylar Zander: Trusting the standards of the Sunshine State
The lawsuit could stand in the way of Florida's plan to import prescription drugs from Canada.

Prescription Drugs
Putting the government in charge could severely harm patients and the system that provides the care they need.

Florida has always operated on a bedrock of free-market principles.

During each Legislative Session at the Capitol, free market ideals are challenged by individual members with well-intentioned ideas that, when executed, could harm our state.

This Legislative Session is no different.

One particularly concerning bill that should have people worried is one where policymakers would allow foreign nations to dictate prices for medication in the United States. The International Drug Reference Pricing Bill, HB 1431, would effectively empower foreign governments and politicians to determine the value of our medicines here at home.

Under the proposal, the amount that Florida consumers pay for many prescriptions would be based on how much those medications cost in other countries — meaning the laws, doctors and politicians of those countries would essentially determine what we pay.

This is especially concerning because price controls imposed by governments of other countries have made it extremely difficult for some patients to access their medicines.

In fact, American consumers have had ready access to more than 85% of the almost 500 new medicines launched since 2011, but less than half have been available in countries like Canada, France and Germany. This lack of availability drastically impacts European access to care, causing corporations to shift investment away from their shores and leaving such countries with a dwindling manufacturing and pharmaceutical presence.

On average, Canadian and French patients gain access to new cancer and rare disease medicines almost a year and a half later than U.S. patients. And in 2019, nearly 1 in 2 European patients reported experiencing medicine shortages either personally or by a family member. This immediately impacted the patients’ health — with 42% of those surveyed reporting delays in care or therapy.

Moreover, in price-controlled E.U. markets, every 10% drop in medicines was associated with a 7% decline in biotech patents and an 8% jump in delayed access to medicines, among other problems.

It’s almost unfathomable that we would take guidance and socialist policies from other countries and apply them in Florida, particularly given our state’s extensive work to limit government involvement in the health care system.

The legislation would also directly affect our state’s economic health, not in a good way. The biomedical industry supports almost 245,000 jobs across the state and contributes nearly $65 billion to our economy, so the prospective loss of investment in Florida would be significant.

The U.S. health system has historically differed from other countries in pricing and reimbursement because we don’t allow our government to set prices on medicines.

The reason is simple: Putting the government in charge could severely harm patients and the system that provides the care they need. So why would we look to other countries for drug pricing when we should be operating under our own free market?

A market that has generated and delivered many of the most groundbreaking medical innovations of our time.

I urge Florida lawmakers to oppose HB 1431 because it jeopardizes the safety of patients and hinders innovation, potentially establishing drastic precedents in years to come.


Skylar Zander is the state director of Americans for Prosperity-Florida.

Guest Author


  • 🤡🤡🤡

    January 23, 2024 at 3:14 pm


  • ScienceBLVR

    January 23, 2024 at 6:34 pm

    My question is, are these Koch- Konuts still not backing Trump now that DeSantis is out? I always know a losing argument when they have to reference “socialist policies” in their diatribe. Yeah, let’s let the drug companies and Koch bros set the prices…

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn