Healthcare leaders discussed efforts that aim to increase access to prescription drugs and lower their costs during the 2023 Florida State of Reform Health Policy Conference a couple of weeks ago.

Florida Association of Community Health Centers Vice President and COO Ben Browning said consumers scored a big victory with the legislature’s passage of House Bill 1509, which takes several steps to regulate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

“There were a lot of people that had to contribute their strength, their power, and their influence to get that bill over the line,” Browning said. “We at the association have been working with the legislature for six years, if not longer, to try and get something on the books. Over the years, there have been little pieces along the way. This year, the governor got behind it. He had an executive order over the summer. It kind of laid the groundwork for this bill.”

Many pharmacists said PBM business practices were hindering their ability to provide needed medications for Floridians during testimony for HB 1509 and its companion bill, Senate Bill 1550, during the legislative session.

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