pharmacy benefits manager

After lawmakers passed the changes Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis moved quickly to sign a bill that will place restrictions on pharmacy benefit managers.

DeSantis held a bill-signing event Wednesday in Jupiter, with his office touting that the changes will provide more “accountability” for the business known as PBMs.

“This legislation builds a foundation of transparency for pharmacy benefit manager practices and drug prices in Florida, allowing consumers to make the best choices for their own health,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement.

Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, act as something of middlemen in the health-care system. They contract with health insurers, self-insured employers and governments to play roles including negotiating drug prices with manufacturers, establishing pharmacy networks and paying claims. Groups such as independent pharmacies have long called for the state to make changes related to PBMs, which they contend have too much leverage in the market.

But the PBM industry has argued it helps lower prescription costs through such things as negotiating rebates with drug manufacturers and discounts from pharmacies.

The House and Senate unanimously passed the bill Tuesday. Among other things, the measure will increase the Office of Insurance Regulation’s authority over PBMs; place restrictions on PBMs that have affiliated pharmacy businesses; and prevent PBMs from requiring patients to receive prescriptions by mail.

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