Apr 21, 2023
Independent Pharmacy Organizations’ Collective Efforts are Helping Propel Governor DeSantis Goal of Requiring PBMs to Comply with Standards of Due Care, Skill and Professionalism
WINSTON SALEM, NC (April 21, 2023) – Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) today expressed its appreciation for the combined efforts of American Associated Pharmacies (AAP), AlignRx and Florida Small Business Pharmacies Aligned for Reform (SPAR) whose efforts over recent years has resulted in the Florida State Senate passing SB 1550 “Prescription Drug Reform Act.”
The proposed bill would require pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to obtain a certificate of authority in order to operate in the State of Florida under the state insurance code, end patient-steering practices and improve transparency in the state’s healthcare marketplace. Years of combined efforts by SPAR independent pharmacy owners; AAP - a nationwide, member owned cooperative of more than 2,000 independent pharmacies; and AlignRx, the nation’s largest independently owned pharmacy services administrative organization to educate Florida lawmakers about the negative influence PBMs have on prescription drug costs contributed to the vote, which shut out the bill’s opposition by a vote of 40-0.
“The legislation tracks most, if not all, of the PBM practices currently under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission,” said former Florida Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, a spokesperson for SPAR. “The grassroots efforts … most certainly helped make passage of this legislation in the Senate possible.”
PBMs are the shadowy prescription drug middlemen who have come under intense scrutiny for questionable practices including overcharging state Medicaid programs; routinely reimbursing pharmacies below drug acquisition cost, driving many pharmacies to the brink of closure; adversely impacting critical patient care in pursuit of outsized profits; steering patients to PBM-owned pharmacies and more.
Last June, the Federal Trade Commission announced a study of the 6 largest PBMs to scrutinize the impact of vertically integrated pharmacy benefit managers on the access and affordability of prescription drugs.
For more information on how PBM practices obstruct patient care while driving up costs to consumers and end payers, visit PUTT’s website at TruthRx.org.
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