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Prescription drugs

The governor of Florida wants to reduce the cost of prescription drugs

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took the stage at Cape Coral High School on Friday to announce a plan to lower the cost of prescription drugs for state residents.

DeSantis announced he would sign an executive order that would allow the state to hold prescription benefit managers, or PBMs, accountable for the prices people are ultimately charged for their drugs, and open the door to reforms. He said it would also help small, independent pharmacies that want to stock these drugs.

WATCH: Florida governor announces pharmacare plan

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis holds a press conference in Cape Coral

DeSantis said he asked Simone Marstiller, secretary of the Agency for Healthcare Administration, to review PBMs and help find a way to ensure cost-cutting measures are in place.

“They do a lot more than set prices,” Marstiller explained. “They handle the pre-authorization. They have to approve getting your prescription, even after your doctor decides you need it.”

Marstiller said the executive order would be used as the basis for comprehensive prescription industry reform.

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Simone Marstiller, secretary of the Agency for Healthcare Administration, speaks during a press conference on July 8, 2022.

The governor also said he was studying a provision in federal law that would allow states to buy drugs from Canada and was working with federal agencies to enable that provision. He submitted a proposal to the FDA and submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the agency to find out the status of the proposal.

“[The FDA] may very well not be able to meet a 20-day deadline,” Marstiller said of the wait. “We have not obtained any commitment from the FDA to do this.

DeSantis said a warehouse in Polk County is “ready to go” to receive the drugs as soon as that approval is given, but he hinted there could be a legal battle in the near future to get the drug started. program.

When discussing the upcoming school year, DeSantis said he would block any attempt to require a vaccination mandate in public schools.

AHCA officials will meet in Tallahassee on Friday to discuss a proposed rule that would block Medicaid coverage for hormone therapy, puberty-blocking drugs and related treatments for transgender patients.

Joan J. Dean

The author Joan J. Dean