Florida Politics, March 8, 2020
Over the past year, I’ve made the drive from my small pharmacy in DeFuniak Springs to Tallahassee dozens of times to advocate for one priority: PBM reform.
Unless significant reforms are made to Florida’s broken PBM system, patients will be put at risk due to lack of access to prescription drugs — especially those who live in smaller, more rural communities like mine.
Local pharmacies have been under attack for some time by predatory middlemen called pharmacy benefit managers or PBMs. The three largest PBMs control 85% of the prescription drug market and, together, these operators are driving neighborhood pharmacies out of business.
This is not a situation like Blockbuster and Netflix where local pharmacists simply aren’t adapting to the new market and changing times. Our prices are competitive and the services we offer to patients are oftentimes more desirable than our competitors. We’re closing because the system is broken and the game is being rigged by a handful of powerful companies.
In a free market, different businesses should be able to compete and if my product or service isn’t as good or convenient as the CVS Pharmacy across the street, then I deserve to close down. I could live with that. What I can’t live with is a system where the companies managing the health care options for millions of Floridians also own PBMs who sets my prices and the prices of my competitors.