NBC WPTV 5, February 13, 2020
A popular pharmacist is calling for prescription drug pricing reform in Florida after a newly released report shows small pharmacies are having a difficult time competing with corporate giants and some in our region fear they will have to close their doors.
For decades JoAnne White has chosen Okeechobee Discount Drugs for the savings and the people.
“The prescriptions are just ridiculous,” said White. “If [this drugstore] goes out of business and I have to go to one of these others – I don’t know what I’ll have to do.”
On Thursday, White and other customers stood in the drugstore – not for prescriptions – but to draw attention to the need for reform.
“It is imperative that we demand a special session on drug pricing reform,” said Steven Nelson, a registered pharmacist, and Okeechobee Discount Drugs owner. “Lawmakers in Tallahassee continue to walk down the slow path of PBM reform.”
Nelson is referencing a Jan. 30 report entitled “Sunshine in the Black Box of Pharmacy Benefits Management” released by 3 Axis Advisors and commissioned by the Florida Pharmacy Association (FPA) and American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc. (APCI). The report highlighted the impact of “spread pricing” and the “differential drug pricing” small pharmacies face due to Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) reimbursing smaller pharmacies at lower rates.