Tampa lawmaker Jackie Toledo leads push to lower drug costs in Florida

Tampa Bay Times

December 17, 2019

Jackie Toledo recently had an issue with the cost of medication. It’s a problem the Republican state representative from South Tampa said she’s heard too many times before.

Toledo said this kind of scenario is happening way too often. That’s why she’s filing a bill today to regulate pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs. The measure, she said, would keep drug costs down for consumers and independent pharmacies in Florida.

Called the Prescription Drug Cost Reduction Act, the bill aims to prohibit health care monopolies that reduce patient choice, and to eliminate the practice of “steering” patients to PBM-owned pharmacies. It also would prohibit predatory practices that threaten to squeeze independent pharmacies.

“Florida should have been the leader in this,” said Kevin Sneed, dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Pharmacy. “Until it happens in Florida and Texas, it hasn’t happened nationally when it comes to health care. With 22 million people in our state, these costs affect us more than smaller states.”  Continue Reading

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