“This legislation builds a foundation of transparency for pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) practices and drug prices in Florida, allowing consumers to make the best choices for their own health,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “PBMs and Big Pharma have managed to escape the public eye and work in the shadows for far too long. I’m proud to sign a bill that takes the reins back from these health care monopolies while empowering consumers.”
“Prescription drugs can drastically impact a person’s quality of life, and for some Floridians, they are the difference between life and death. Patients deserve to know when drug price increases occur and where they can find their prescription drugs at an affordable price,” said Senator Jason Brodeur. “Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, we are holding PBMs, which are acting on behalf of pharmacy benefits plans, to standards that protect the patients. This great bill will help patients in Florida receive their medications in a more accessible manner and at a more affordable cost.”
“I am extremely proud to see the Prescription Drug Reform Act pass the House,” said Representative Linda Chaney. “Patients have enough to deal with. They don’t need to fight their PBM and insurance company, too. It’s long past due that we put patients first, which is what this bill does. Today, we stood firm and clearly said ‘enough is enough’ to powerful PBMs, putting patients with cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and other chronic illnesses above profit. It’s as simple as it sounds, and yet it will be truly life-changing for some of our sickest, most vulnerable Floridians and their families.”
“Governor DeSantis has consistently put Floridians first in the fight to lower drug costs and make health care more accessible,” said Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Jason Weida. “I’m proud to stand with him as he signs the most comprehensive legislation in Florida history to rein in the Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex by holding Big Pharma and PBMs accountable, driving transparency never seen before in this industry in Florida.”
“PBMs and Big Pharma have profited off our seniors who take numerous medications, and I am so grateful for Governor DeSantis for once again standing up for our older residents,” said Department of Elder Affairs Secretary Michelle Branham. “This legislation is critical for seniors on a fixed income because it will keep out-of-pocket costs down and give them the freedom to choose the pharmacy of their choice, putting true patient care back at the forefront for our elders.”
Senate Bill 1550 institutes regulatory best practices for PBMs operating in Florida and provides the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) the authority to examine and investigate PBMs and review possible violations of rules, as is done with all insurers in the state of Florida. Further, PBMs will also have to disclose all organizations affiliated with the applicant, including any affiliated pharmacies or companies within their corporate umbrella. The bill institutes a series of patient protections within the insurance code, to include prohibiting a PBM from forcing a patient to undergo “step therapy” or failing twice, i.e. the practice of forcing someone to restart a medication they know doesn’t work when they switch insurance companies.
Additionally, the bill reinforces the Governor’s commitment to transparency in the cost of prescription drugs by requiring pharmaceutical companies to disclose price increases for price hikes of 15% within a calendar year or 30% within a three-year period.