Florida senate brings prescription drug bull — cost analysis says it will increase medicine 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 a release from the Pharmaceutical Care Management Agency, they claim that the bill would cost the state of Florida over $29 billion in increased prescription drug costs, stating that “The proposed Florida legislation will seriously undermine the ability of PBMs to control drug costs and manage their pharmacy networks, and as a result drug spending in Florida will soar.”

“PBMs require pharmacies to compete on service, price, convenience, and quality to be included in preferred networks. Pharmacies that agree to participate in such arrangements are designated as ‘preferred’ and become members of a preferred pharmacy network. These types of networks have gained traction among plan sponsors and deliver tangible out-of-pocket savings for patients,” the release states.

In notifying the epartment of Business and Professional Regulation, 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.

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