Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Proposes Relief for Prescription Drug Prices, Protects Small Businesses from Pharmaceutical Middlemen
By Space Coast Daily // January 17, 2023
What Floridians are saying about Governor DeSantis’ efforts to lower prescription drug prices in Florida
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was in The Villages to announce a legislative proposal to protect consumers and small businesses and rein in Pharmacy Benefit Managers through accountability in Florida’s drug market.
Here’s what Floridians are saying about DeSantis’ efforts to lower prescription drug prices in Florida:
■ Publix Super Markets Senior Director of Pharmacy Administration Katie Scanlon said, “We appreciate Governor DeSantis’ leadership in championing the initiative for lower prescription drug costs for Floridians.
It is a critical step in the right direction to ensure our residents and customers have access to their medications at the lowest price available to all, dispensed from their community pharmacist of choice.”
■ Walgreens Regional Healthcare Director Young Chang said, “Walgreens is supportive of initiatives that improve access and transparency to prescriptions and lower patients’ out-of-pocket costs. That’s why we look forward to working with Governor DeSantis on this important issue for all Floridians.”
■ Fernandina Beach Senior Linda Kamack said, “I applaud the Governor for working on the legislation for Big Pharma changes. Being on a fixed income as well as being on a retired teacher pension, it will be a welcome change to be able to compare prices.
I love that he wants to put more accountability back on the benefit managers. We’ve all had to be accountable in our jobs, and they need to be held to the same standards. The US Food and Drug Administration needs to be prodded into acting on his Canadian proposal. Seniors need more choices and more savings.”
■ National Association of Chain Drug Stores President and CEO Steven C. Anderson said, “Governor DeSantis is right to stand up for Floridians by leading on pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) reform.
Patients deserve the best value of care from the pharmacy and pharmacist they choose and accountability from middlemen who interfere with their choice and access to care. We look forward to working with Governor DeSantis and with the legislature to maximize this moment for the benefit of Floridians and for the viability of the pharmacies that serve them.”
■ Jacksonville Senior Tim Walker said, “Until the Governor unveiled this new legislation, I didn’t know what a Pharmacy Benefit Manager was.
Now that I’m informed, I’m absolutely thrilled that the Governor is watching out for us. I personally know people who choose not to take medication because of the expense involved.
It’s too bad we have to legislate to keep people honest, but I’m so thankful our Governor is willing to do what it takes.”
■ Florida Small Business Pharmacies Aligned for Reform board member Ben Levene said, “On behalf of Florida’s small business pharmacies and patients, we thank Governor DeSantis for taking decisive action to lower prescription drug prices and remove barriers to quality healthcare and affordability for Floridians.
Governor DeSantis’ willingness to take on the large, shadowy pharmacy benefit middlemen who’ve been profiteering off Florida for years is a clear demonstration of his leadership and commitment to the people of our great state.”
■ Florida Pharmacy Association CEO and Executive Vice President Helen Sairany said, “The Florida Pharmacy Association commends Governor DeSantis for championing efforts to rein in powerful and predatory PBMs doing business in the Sunshine State.
As the Governor explained, PBMs are not only anti-competition, but they are anti-patient as well. These multi-billion-dollar companies are deciding which prescription drugs to cover based on the size of the rebates they will receive from manufacturers, ultimately raising patients’ out-of-pocket drug costs by almost 30 percent.
And to make matters worse, they use pressure tactics to steer patients to their affiliated pharmacies, where the prescription drug rebates they will receive are larger, rather than focusing on the best health outcomes for patients.”