A week after The Floridian reported that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was going to push for the state legislature to address the prescription drug issue, Governor DeSantis dropped an anvil on the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) lobby.
During a press conference in The Villages retirement community in Central Florida, Gov. DeSantis signaled to the Republican-led state legislature to pass legislation that would drastically bring down the cost of prescription drugs.
DeSantis put forth a legislative blueprint or proposal that would continue his agenda to reform Big Pharma and minimalize the influence of drug “middlemen.”
"These reforms will enhance transparency and reduce the influence of pharmacy middlemen, which will help consumers as well as our small pharmacies,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I look forward to these reforms becoming law.”
DeSantis’s State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo echoed the Governor’s call to lower prescription drug prices for American.
“The American people have been led to believe that drug costs are high so that pharmaceutical companies can continue to perform research,” said State Surgeon General Dr. Joseph Ladapo. “But this claim ignores the fact that pharmaceutical research and innovation tends to begin in universities, mostly through NIH funding. That’s our tax dollars. The American people deserve affordable prescriptions, not unnecessary mark-ups that continue to line the pockets of Big Pharma.”
Here is what the proposal includes:
- Requires PBMs to disclose all organizations affiliated with the applicant, including any affiliated pharmacies or companies within their corporate umbrella.
- Requires PBMs to disclose any complaints or settlement agreements they’ve been party to prior to operating in Florida.
- Directs the Office of Insurance Regulation to take action against PBMs which violate state law and hold them accountable, as is consistent with all insurers
- Proposing a public disclosure requirement of all proposed drug price increases.
- Requiring all manufacturers to submit an annual report outlining and justifying any increases over the past year.
DeSantis proposal comes down several months after he penned an Executive Order 22-164 to kick off his agenda to bring more transparency to the middleman role of pharmacy benefit managers.
Here is Anderson’s complete statement:
“Governor DeSantis is right to stand up for Floridians by leading on pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) reform. ‘PBM’ should stand for pharmaceutical benefit manipulation because middlemen and payers are profiting at Floridians’ expense. Patients deserve more affordable access to medicines. Patients deserve the best value of care from the pharmacy and pharmacist they choose. Patients deserve to not choose between the necessities of life and their medicines. Patients deserve the discounts that PBMs and payers are pocketing rather than passing them on to patients. Patients deserve accountability from middlemen who interfere with their choice and access to care.
“NACDS is working on a bipartisan basis for meaningful PBM reform because Floridians and all Americans deserve better, and we greatly appreciate Governor DeSantis’ PBM reform commitments. We look forward to working with Governor DeSantis and with the legislature to maximize this moment for the benefit of Floridians and for the viability of the pharmacies that serve them. NACDS also will continue to work with leaders in other states and in the federal government to end this pharmaceutical benefit manipulation that impacts all patients.”