August 12, 2022

Florida House passes bill that would increase oversight of pharmacy benefit managers

The Florida House on Friday unanimously passed a measure that would lead to increased oversight of pharmacy benefit managers, which act as sort of middlemen between health insurers and pharmacies.

The bill (HB 357), sponsored by Rep. Jackie Toledo, R-Tampa, would give the state Office of Insurance Regulation more authority over pharmacy benefit managers.

As an example, pharmacy benefit managers are required to register with the state, but the Office of Insurance Regulation does not have power to enforce the registration requirement.

Toledo’s bill would allow the Office of Insurance Regulation to fine pharmacy benefit managers for violations of the requirement.

Also, current law sets guidelines for audits that pharmacy benefit managers conduct of pharmacies. Toledo’s bill would give the Office of Insurance Regulation authority to enforce violations of the guidelines.

Small pharmacies have long complained about pharmacy benefit managers, which represent health insurers in negotiations with drug companies and pharmacies.

“We have the ability and responsibility to protect Floridians from unfair market practices,” Toledo said before the bill passed Friday.

The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled Monday to consider a similar bill (SB 1476), filed by Sen. Tom Wright, R-New Smyrna Beach.

Dozens of health care industry lobbyists have registered to lobby on the issue, according to information on the House website.

Tags: News Service of Florida

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