Sunshine State: We Just Say 'No' to Canadian Drugs

May 26, 2004 ( - Don't expect to see the state of Florida on board the train already filled with government officials backing reimportation of less expensive prescription drugs from Canada.

Even though the state’s prescription drug insurance cost is projected to skyrocket 26% to $233 million for the 2004-2005 fiscal year, Florida officials are steering clear of the still controversial move adopted by governments frantic to save what they can on health-care coverage costs (See Iowa Latest State on Canada Drug Bandwagon ), the Tallahassee Democrat reported.

With Republicans running the Florida Legislature in Tallahassee, and the president’s brother, Governor Jeb Bush, running the executive branch, no one has proposed challenging Washington over drug-importation restrictions.

“We’re always looking for ways to hold down costs in the state employee insurance program,” Florida Department of Management Services spokesman Towson Fraser told the newspaper. “But illegally importing drugs from Canada is not one of those ways.”

Drug costs are running about 15% to 18% of the total expense of the state’s group-insurance program.