Governor DeSantis Approves Rules to Implement the Prescription Drug Reform Act

On September 18, 2023, Governor DeSantis took the next steps toward increasing Pharmacy Benefit Manager (“PBM”) accountability and transparency in the State of Florida by approving rules that implement the Prescription Drug Reform Act Senate Bill 1550 (“SB 1550”). Governor DeSantis stated that the rules are designed to make PBMs “responsible to the patients they serve.” Governor DeSantis’s implementation of these rules is consistent with actions seen at the federal level such as  the United States Senate Committee on Finance conducting a bipartisan hearing “[PBMs] and the Prescription Drug Supply Chain: Impact on Patients and Taxpayers” and the Committee Chairman Senator Ron Wyden and Ranking Member Senator Mike Crapo releasing their Legislative Framework to Address PBMs and Prescription Drug Supply Chain.

More specifically, Governor DeSantis implemented a rule which requires PBMs to submit an application to operate in Florida on or after January 1, 2024. If a PBM operates in Florida without applying, it will be subject to fines of $10,000 per violation per day. Additionally, Governor DeSantis implemented a rule mandating pharmaceutical companies to disclose price increases that lead to a 15 percent rise within a year or a 30 percent rise within three years.

SB 1550, and the rules that are now being implemented following its enactment, are a positive and significant development for patients and providers in Florida. The Prescription Drug Reform Act represents a significant legislative accomplishment which will help to limit PBMs’ ability to engage in certain improper business practices that cause significant issues for patients and providers throughout the country. Pharmacies, pharmacists, and patients should become familiar with SB 1550 and the rules that follow its enactment to learn how to more effectively navigate the complex pharmacy-PBM landscape.

How Frier Levitt Can Help

Frier Levitt represents numerous pharmacies across the United States in challenging PBM audits, network access, reimbursement practices and other complex issues such as DIR fees. Our attorneys have extensive knowledge in all aspects of the pharmacy-PBM relationship. Contact us to speak with an attorney about how your pharmacy can leverage the various applicable laws and protections afforded to pharmacies that regulate PBM conduct.