(The Center Square) — New rules approved by officials in Florida this week are designed to increase accountability from pharmaceutical companies when it comes to drug pricing.
Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Monday that he and the Florida cabinet approved rules that will allow the implementation of provisions within Senate Bill 1550, the Prescription Drug Act.
This bill requires prescription drug manufacturers to disclose reportable prescription drug price increases.
These provisions were designed to increase accountability for pharmacy benefit managers, companies that manage prescription drug benefits for pharmacy benefit plans
or programs. They can increase the price of prescription medications and dictate where the medication can be purchased.
According to a fiscal analysis of the new law from April, three pharmacy benefit managers control most of the business. CVS Caremark was the largest with 34% of the market, followed by Express Scripts (25%) and Optum Rx (21%).
“We are committed to making Florida’s prescription drug market the most transparent and accountable in the nation,” DeSantis said in his statement.
DeSantis added that pharmaceutical companies have a responsibility to be more transparent about how they operate.
“For too long, PBMs and Big Pharma have made extraordinary windfalls by operating behind closed doors — deciding which prescriptions are covered, where they can be purchased, and how much they cost,” DeSantis said. “These rules will continue our efforts to lower prescription costs and make corporations responsible to the patients they serve.”
According to DeSantis, the bill is one of the most comprehensive reforms to the state’s prescription drug market. DeSantis is also working to buy generic prescription medications from Canada — a move approved by the Trump Administration in 2019 — to lower medication costs for Floridians.
The release notes that the rules approved by DeSantis and the cabinet include application forms for PBMs who want to operate in the Sunshine State after Dec. 31. Those who continue to operate after that time without proper approval could face fines up to $10,000 per violation, per day.
The Office of Insurance Regulation has formally sent notice to all PBMs operating in Florida to ensure they are aware of the changes and updates to state law. Additional information for stakeholders has also been issued.
Furthermore, if a prescription drug manufacturer increases its price by more than 15% within one calendar year or 30% over a three-year period, they must disclose all information relating to when the increase came into effect and the contributing factor behind it.