DeSantis Takes Steps to Lower Prescription Drug Costs in Florida

July 8, 2022 Updated 2:40 PM ET

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July 8, 2022 Updated 1:20 P.M. ET

CAPE CORAL (FLV) – Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order to improve transparency for prescription drugs costs in Florida. 

“Florida continues to lead the nation in ensuring accountability in the health care industry and in introducing reforms to combat rising prescriptions costs,” said Governor Ron DeSantis

The order will make sure reforms are in place to hold Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs) accountable. PBMs manage prescription drug benefits for insurance companies. They act as the middleman for insurance companies and pharmacies and can drive up costs for consumers. 

“This executive order requires accountability and transparency for pharmaceutical middlemen when doing business with the state, thereby reducing the upward pressure on prescription drug costs,” DeSantis said.

The Executive Order directs executive agencies to include the following provisions in all future contracts and solicitations with these PBMs. 

-Prohibit spread pricing for all PBMs

-Prohibit reimbursement clawbacks for all PBMs

-Directs agencies to include data transparency and reporting requirements, including a review of all rebates, payments, and relationships between pharmacies, insurers, and manufacturers

-Directs all impacted agencies to amend all contracts to the extent feasible with these same provisions.

“For far too long leaders have chosen the path of inaction, rather than action, and fallen victim to a pharmaceutical system driven by drug companies rather than consumers,” said Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller. 

Spread pricing is where PBMs collect payments from the individual and keep leftover funds after they have already reimbursed the pharmacy for the prescription and service cost. This “deceptive” practice drives up the cost for Floridians. 

Clawbacks occur when an individual overpays for their prescriptions and the PBMs keep the overpayment. These practices especially hurt independent smaller pharmacies. 

A coalition of independent and community pharmacies praised Governor DeSantis for the Executive Order. 

“EMPOWER Patients praises Governor DeSantis for his leadership and persistence in his efforts to lower prescription drug prices in Florida, while also supporting independent and community pharmacists who work tirelessly to provide high-quality, yet affordable care for patients in need,” said EMPOWER Patients member Michael Jackson. 

A copy of Executive Order 22-164 can be found HERE.

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