- A poll released this week found 75% of respondents and 90% of seniors oppose Senate Bill 1550 and House Bill 1509, which aim to impose additional government regulations on prescription drug benefits.
- Critics argue that the bills would increase costs without addressing the core issue of high drug prices set by manufacturers.
- Supporters say the goal of the legislation is to increase transparency in the pharmaceutical industry and prevent pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) from requiring patients to use affiliated pharmacies or receive drugs through the mail.
- Opponents point out that the legislation could lead to higher plan costs for employers and employees.
- The poll surveyed 800 respondents in both Spanish and English and highlights concerns over the potential negative impact of the proposed legislation on prescription drug access, affordability, and safety standards.
A new poll released this week by Floridians for Government Accountability (FGA), in partnership with J. Wallin Opinion Research, shows that 75% of all respondents and 90% of seniors are opposed to Senate Bill 1550 and House Bill 1509. The bills would impose additional government regulations on prescription drug benefits offered by employers and Medicare, but opponents argue they would increase prescription drug costs without addressing the root issue of high drug prices set by manufacturers.
Those concerns are what is driving the overwhelming poll results, according to a memo from Justin Wallin, founder and CEO of J. Wallin Opinion Research, who conducted the poll for FGA.
“A full 55% of Florida voters recognize that the high costs of prescription drugs lie at the feet of drug manufacturers. Even more worrisome to voters is that passage of this legislation as written will make it harder and costlier to receive their important medications by mail, and undermine important safety and quality requirements,” Wallin wrote in the memo. “Florida voters oppose this legislation, understanding that it will enact burdensome regulations and increase the cost of their prescriptions.”
Both the Senate and House proposals seek to dramatically reshape the Medicare program, potentially increasing health care costs by as much as $10 billion over the next ten years. But critics argue that the bills would make it more difficult and expensive for patients to receive prescriptions by mail, limit seniors’ ability to use lower-cost pharmacy options, and undermine important safety and quality requirements for pharmacies that handle medications for chronic conditions and diseases.
The Senate is expected to take up SB 1550 later this week for a full floor vote. Supporters of both bills, including Gov. Ron DeSantis and Senate sponsor Jason Brodeur, argue that the bills aim to increase transparency in the pharmaceutical industry and prevent pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) from requiring patients to use affiliated pharmacies or receive drugs through the mail. Critics of PBMs claim that their practices are anti-competitive and predatory, resulting in decreased patient access to medication and higher consumer costs.
However, Connor Rose, senior director of state affairs for the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a PBM-industry group, expressed concern that the legislation could lead to unintended consequences, such as higher plan costs for employers and their employees.
The poll, which surveyed 800 respondents in both Spanish and English, has a margin of error of +/- 3.4%.