Florida senate brings bill to protect consumers from high drug costs—pharma reps say it will increase costs by $29 billion

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A bill has been introduced in Florida that would require drug manufacturers to report price hikes, and alter rules on how pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) can operate.

SB 1550, filed by Republican Sen. Jason Brodeur earlier this month, requires drug manufacturers to notify the Department of Business and Professional Regulation of any 15 percent increase or more in wholesale acquisition cost during the prior 12-month period, or any increase of 40 percent or more during the preceding 3 calendar years of a course of therapy.

In notifying the department, drug manufacturers are required to include on their form “a statement regarding whether a change or improvement in the prescription drug necessitates the reportable drug price increase. If so, the manufacturer must describe the change or improvement.”

The bill would also require PBMs to obtain a certificate of authority to operate in the Florida marketplace. According to Florida Politics, PBMs previously had to spend just $5 and register with the state Office of Insurance Regulation.

The outlet explains, “PBMs are companies that contract with health insurers, self-insured plans and government health care programs to process and pay prescription drug costs. PBMs also negotiate drug costs and discounts with manufacturers and assemble pharmacy networks. They often are referred to as ‘pharmacy middlemen.'”

Those PBMs without a certificate by January 1, 2024 are subject to a fine of $10,000 per violation per day.

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