Tallahassee, Fla. – AARP’s Florida state director, Jeff Johnson, issued the following statement today urging Florida lawmakers to push ahead with Gov. Ron DeSantis’s vision of lowering the cost of prescription drugs, citing a powerful positive reaction to the initiative from AARP members.

“AARP Florida members overwhelmingly support the concept of lowering prescription drug costs through importation of safe, low-cost, FDA-approved prescription drugs,” Johnson said. “This issue is very important to older voters, who vote in large numbers in every election.”

Johnson noted that a 2018 AARP poll demonstrated that 92 percent of Florida voters 50-plus indicated that drug prices were very or somewhat important in deciding their vote.

“Day after day, seniors tell us that the high cost of prescription drugs forces them to make painful choices between medicines they need to survive and important expenses such as housing, utilities, food and other costs.”

Johnson noted that FDA testified before Congress in 2011 that 40 percent of finished drugs, and 80 percent of active ingredients used in making drugs in the United States, are brought in from abroad. The FDA also works periodically to import drugs into the U.S. when a need exists that U.S. manufacturers can’t fill.

“Florida could serve as a model for lowering prescription drug costs, providing savings to all Floridians, many of them strong supporters of the President,” Johnson said. “AARP is working on the issue of safe importation of prescription drugs and stands ready to be of assistance. It takes courage to blaze a new trail. I am sure Florida voters will recognize political courage when they see it.”