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New Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Floridians Support PBM Regulation

Respondents support policies to require PBMs to provide value, lower consumer drug costs


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 18, 2023


Tallahassee, Fla. – As pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) take center stage in the debate over how best to address rising out-of-pocket health care costs, new polling data released today demonstrates that an overwhelming majority of likely Florida voters support regulating PBMs and would be more likely to support candidates for office who are in favor of increased PBM regulation.


“This is clearly something all Floridians can agree on - it is time to bring greater transparency and accountability to Florida’s healthcare system by reining in unchecked PBMs,” said former State Senator John Grant, President of Seniors Across America and member of the PBM Accountability Project of Florida. “This isn’t a partisan issue – it’s a matter of doing what’s right. Our seniors who rely on medications for their health and lives deserve policies that will lower the costs of prescription drugs and put a stop to the predatory practices of PBMs.”


Key findings from the poll, administered by Lake Research Partners and Bellwether Research earlier this year, include:

  • 84% of Florida likely voters surveyed say it is important to have rules that require PBMs to provide value and lower drug costs for consumers;

  • 75% of Florida likely voters would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports regulating PBMs than one who prefers to keep the rules the same; and,

  • More than 3 out of 4 of Florida likely voters are concerned by the impacts that PBMs have on our healthcare system, including how PBMs drive up prescription drug prices and that they hold a monopoly on the prescription drug market.


Of note, respondents supported several specific policy proposals to require PBMs to provide value and lower costs for consumers. The policy proposals include:

  • Requiring that insurance plans (like employer health plans) pay PBMs only a simple flat fee for their services, prohibiting PBMs from charging additional fees that ultimately get passed on to patients (77% support)

  • Changing how PBMs profit so it’s not connected to the price of prescription drugs and they are not incentivized to drive up prices for patients (81% support)

  • Requiring PBMs to pass discounts along to patients that they get from negotiating with prescription drug manufacturers (82% support)

  • Introducing more transparency into PBMs’ contracts and the prescription drug pricing process (84% support)

The online survey was conducted from Feb. 6-13, 2023, and reached a total of 286 likely November 2024 voters in Florida, fielded concurrently with a national survey of 1,049 likely voters.


The poll comes as a PBM transparency measure moves through the Florida Legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis continues to champion reform in Florida to rein in unchecked PBMs.


“We’re encouraged to see momentum building for PBM reform from likely voters and elected leaders,” said Grant. “And we continue to gain support from other key stakeholders as we work to lower prescription drug costs for the Sunshine State.”


The Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners and Torreya Health Care recently joined the Florida Medical Association, Florida Osteopathic Medical Association, Seniors Across America and Christian Family Coalition Florida, in addition to several national partners, as members of the PBM Accountability Project of Florida. This effort educates fellow Floridians about the role PBMs play in manipulating prescription drug prices and advocate for effective solutions that benefit Florida’s businesses, taxpayers and, ultimately, patients at the pharmacy counter.


“Meaningful reform in the drug pricing system is coming to the Sunshine State,” said Vernon M. Langford DNP, APRN, FNP-C, President of the Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners. “The Florida Association of Nurse Practitioners looks forward to working with the PBM Accountability Project of Florida to help return savings to the pockets of Floridians by lowering the costs of prescription medicine and advocating for transparency in the PBM industry.”


“As healthcare providers, our goal is to ensure patients receive the highest quality of care,” said Stan Whittaker, CEO of Torreya Health Care. “By holding PBMs accountable and strengthening transparency measures, patients will be able to use the community pharmacy of their choice and benefit from lower costs for the medications they need. This is a clear-cut way to improve Florida’s healthcare system and provide better care for patients.”


To learn more about the poll findings or our work, visit www.pbmaccountabilityfl.org.

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