By Scott Lara
Before COVID-19 shut down the global economy, prescription drug costs were already a concern for many Floridians. Now more than ever, with about 17% of the state’s workforce filing for unemployment, keeping the cost of prescription drugs down is crucial for consumers across the state who have been forced into challenging circumstances by this pandemic—and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are the first line of defense against rising costs.
Not many people are aware of PBMs or what they do. As a business owner in the healthcare space, I know the value PBMs offer in protecting consumers from rising drug costs. PBMs work with health plans, businesses, unions, and government programs to negotiate lower drug costs with drug manufacturers. They encourage competition between manufactures and negotiate rebates to drive down the costs of prescription drugs while also encouraging the use of generics and biosimilars, which are as safe, but less expensive than name brands.
In order to continue saving Floridians money on prescription drugs during this time of economic distress, PBMs should not be slowed down by overly-burdensome government regulation. Policymakers will only hurt consumers and stifle innovation by hindering PBMs from performing the essential services they provide for Floridians that rely on prescription drugs.
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