EMPOWER Patients: Entrenched Special Interests Influencing State Agency

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— Following the disturbing presentation from the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) on the report released in December detailing how Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are siphoning taxpayer dollars from the Medicaid program during the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services, EMPOWER Patients released the following statement. The below should be attributed to Michael Jackson, Executive Vice President and CEO, Florida Pharmacy Association. 

“Today’s meeting should rattle every single legislator and state leader. We URGE Gov. DeSantis to dig deeper into AHCA’s clearly cozy relationship with PBM players. We categorically reject the premise that a multi-billion dollar state program has no problems with how the program is administered. It’s clear that prescription drug middlemen have entrenched support within AHCA and state bureaucrats clearly have clouded judgement. It is inconceivable that while 23 other states have addressed PBM reform within their own Medicaid systems, Florida’s system is without problems. States that have implemented reform have seen significant savings, which have been used to support actual patients’ health care and not just line billion dollar corporation pockets. 

“The fact remains that PBMs, who provide absolutely no health care service, take in more than $100 million and actual health care providers take in much less than that. They are steering patients to their own pharmacies and profiting off Florida’s most vulnerable through practices banned in other states. It’s clear that there is a lack of transparency and accountability at AHCA and it’s time to take a deeper look.”