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Groups react to new Prescription Drug Reform Act after Gov. DeSantis delivers his signature

Supporters are celebrating 'historic' reforms and the beginning of lower prescription costs.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday signed the Prescription Drug Reform Act, legislation overhauling the current pharmacy benefits system in the state.

DeSantis has championed the measure (SB 1550), which was fiercely lobbied for by drug companies, pharmacies and insurers.

This year’s measure found success after years of failed attempts in the Legislature. DeSantis’ support was largely seen as an important factor.

The law, which will take effect July 1, requires pharmacy benefit managers, often referred to as “middlemen,” to obtain a certificate of authority from the Office of Insurance Regulation by Jan. 1 and establishes prohibited PBM practices, among other reforms.

Here’s how those involved in the fight are responding:

The EMPOWER Patients Coalition said the legislation is “history-making” and called it “the most comprehensive pharmacy benefit manager reform ever introduced in the nation.”

“The road to establishing meaningful PBM reform has been long and often arduous, but Florida patients and independent and community pharmacists never gave up. These patriots and pharmacists are on the front lines, dealing directly with these powerful and predatory middlemen every single day, and they understand the positive impact this comprehensive legislation will have on them and their neighbors, friends and family,” the group wrote in a statement, adding thanks to House Sponsor Rep. Linda Chaney, Senate sponsor Sen. Jason Brodeur and DeSantis.

The PBM Accountability Project of Florida praised DeSantis for championing the legislation and taking a stand “against the predatory, multibillion-dollar corporations who control more than 80% of the prescription drug market.”

“Despite the threats and scare tactics from the PBM oligarchy that strong consumer protections for Florida’s seniors and families will result in higher costs, similar reforms implemented in other states have been successful in lowering out-of-pocket costs and increasing transparency,” former Sen. John Grant, now president of Seniors Across America and member of the PBM Accountability Project of Florida, wrote in a statement.

He added that both bill sponsors and the Governor were “fighting for our senior citizens and patients across the state who deserve the highest quality of care while paying no more than is absolutely necessary for the medicines they depend on.”

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