Letters to the Editor

Reducing drug costs

In the fight to reduce prescription-drug costs, Florida employers, the state health plan, seniors and consumers have an ally in their corner with pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs.

PBMs are hired to negotiate discounts from drug manufacturers and drugstores.

They typically reduce prescription drug costs by 30 percent for employers and consumers, totaling savings of nearly $98 billion for Floridians over 10 years.

PBMs also increase savings by promoting generics and 90-day prescription drug refills.

During the last legislative session, the drugstore lobby tried to force employers to pay them higher rates.

While such bills claim to protect patients they all lead to the same outcome: more money for drugstores.

Fortunately, Florida lawmakers recognized the legislation’s cost burden and potential harm to patients’ health, so they were not passed.

But the drugstore lobby will undoubtedly again try to get similar bills introduced during this legislative session.

Mark Merritt, president and CEO, Pharmaceutical Care Manufacturers Association, Washington, D.C.