FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tues., March 28, 2023
CONTACT: Aly Coleman Raschid, email@example.com, 850.449.8862
STATEMENT: EMPOWER Patients Coalition on Prescription Drug Reform Act Passing Unanimously as HB 1509 in House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee
Tallahassee, Fla. –The statement below, to be attributed to EMPOWER Patients coalition member and Executive Vice President and CEO of the Florida Pharmacy Association Helen Sairany, pertains to the “Prescription Drug Reform Act” (SB 1550 /HB 1509).
This statement is being made in response to State Rep. Linda Chaney’s (R-St. Petersburg) HB 1509 passing unanimously in the House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee earlier today, Tues., March 28.
“Patients are at heart of EMPOWER Patients’ mission, which is why we’re proud to continually voice our support for the patient-focused Prescription Drug Reform Act. This legislation would scale back pharmacy benefit managers’ oversized role in the prescription drug supply chain, prohibiting a range of anti-competitive practices that drive up patients’ out-of-pocket costs. By reining in PBMs – including the three that control an estimated 80 percent of the market and hold rankings in the Top 15 of the Fortune 500 – it would not only provide significant relief for patients’ wallets, but it would increase access to the medication that so many men and women suffering from cancer, diabetes, and other chronic illnesses need to live full, productive lives.
“And for the hard-working independent and community pharmacists across the state, many of whom operate in rural, underserved areas, this legislation would go a long way to implement a system that is both transparent and fair. This would ensure PBMs can’t limit these small business owners’ ability to make a decent living for themselves and their families, and most importantly, provide personalized, high-quality care for patients in their communities.
“Thank you, Governor DeSantis, Sen. Brodeur, and Rep. Chaney, for joining several other states across the nation to lead the charge against PBMs here in Florida. We look forward to this landmark legislation becoming law later this session.”
To access the coalition’s statement on State Sen. Jason Brodeur’s (R-Lake Mary) SB 1550 passing in the Senate Health Policy Committee with a unanimous, bipartisan vote yesterday, Mon., March 27, please click here.
During Monday’s committee meeting, Sen. Brodeur said, “We have, as a state, been looking at this for a long time, as have a ton of other states…Forty-one states have banned clawbacks, which we’re doing. Thirty-one states have banned mail-order mandates, which we’re doing. Seventeen states have banned arbitrary specialty pharmacy accreditation, which we’re doing. Twelve states have banned steering, which we’re doing. Thirteen states have banned spread pricing, which we’re doing. And so what I would tell you is…in the words of the Montana insurance commissioner, what we’re trying to do is at least ‘turn on a bright light inside the big black box.’ And if we do that, I think that consumers are going to win.”
For more information about EMPOWER Patients, please click here.
About EMPOWER Patients
The EMPOWER Patients coalition formed in 2020 to support policies that empower patients to take back control of their health care, increase access to affordable medication, restore the patient/pharmacist relationship, and drastically scale back the role of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the prescription drug supply chain. EMPOWER Patients is comprised of the American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc., Aspire Health Pharmacy Services, Florida Independent Pharmacy Network, Florida Pharmacy Association, Pharmacy Provider Services Corporation, Walgreens, and hundreds of patients and independent and community pharmacists and pharmacies across Florida.