Poll shows Florida voters support PBM regulation

row of pill bottles
Three-quarters said they would back politicians who vote for PBM regulations.

New polling shows Florida voters are in favor of legislation that would impose new regulations on pharmacy benefit managers.

Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, negotiate with drug manufacturers on behalf of insurance companies to purchase drugs at reduced prices or promise additional rebates.

They have been pejoratively referred to as “middlemen” due to “spread pricing” — a term describing the practice of charging an insurer one price for a drug and paying the pharmacy a lower cost while pocketing the difference.

Conducted by Lake Research Partners and Bellwether Research, the poll found more than three-quarters of likely voters are concerned about the impact pharmacy benefit managers have on drug prices while 84% believe they should be required to provide value and lower costs.

Additionally, 75% told pollsters they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports regulating PBMs.

“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 Sen. John Grant, the 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.”

The poll comes as lawmakers consider bills (HB 1509/SB 1550) that would ban PBMs from requiring their customers to use mail-in pharmacies and require them to give all pharmacists a guaranteed drug acquisition cost.

Further, the legislation would require PBMs to obtain certificates of authority to operate in the Florida marketplace. Unlike the registration currently required, the state can rescind a COA.

The legislation, which is one of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ top health care priorities, also requires drug manufacturers to report to the state when, within a 12-month time frame, there is a price hike of 15% or more in the wholesale acquisition cost of prescription drugs that cost $100 or more and are needed in a normal course of treatment that is less than 30 days.

Lake Research Partners and Bellwether Research conducted the survey online Feb. 6-13. The sample includes 286 likely General Election voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.8%.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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