Florida Legislators Must Champion Patient-First Policies

Feb 8, 2024

H.E.A.L.S. of the South, alongside 30 dedicated partners, is rallying to pass legislation to lower out-of-pocket healthcare costs and expand patient access to innovative medications in Florida. As we applaud the efforts of Florida legislators during the 2023 Legislative Session, there remains a shared commitment to champion patient-first policies.

Florida, like many states, faces challenges in the healthcare landscape, particularly concerning the influence of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Today, three major PBMs control a significant portion of the prescription drug marketplace, dictating policies that often prioritize higher-cost medications. This trend puts decision-making power in the hands of vertically integrated companies, sidelining patients, physicians, and community pharmacists. To address these issues, we need comprehensive, patient-centered reform.

While exploring solutions, it is crucial to acknowledge concerning proposals, like the International Pricing Index (IPI) or government price setting policies, that create greater access barriers without lowering costs for Floridians. Statistics show that patients in countries with government price setting policies have limited access to new medicines. The impact on cancer patients serves as a great example as patients in these countries have access to as little as 40% of new cancer medicines compared to patients in the US. Moreover, these patients face an average wait of 28 months longer for coverage of these new medicines than US patients.

Together, we can create a healthcare landscape that prioritizes patients, promotes transparency, and ensures access to the medications and treatments needed for a healthier Florida.