Heads Up News
Welcome to Heads Up News which contains breaking news, press & on-line releases, as well as information garnered by FIPN members re: ongoing issues and general information. Heads Up News provides up-to-date and easy access to current information from state and national sources in order to keep FIPN members current on pharmacy happenings.
2018 FLORIDA PHARMACY LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
- HB 351, PBM Transparency (High Priority)
- HB 689/SB 914 Collaborative Practice (Medium Priority)
- HB 431/SB 524 Test and Treat (Low Priority)
- HB 579/SB 800 Needle Exchange (Oppose; possible support based on concerns being met)
- SB 848 Remote Dispensing Site Pharmacies (Oppose)
2017 FLORIDA LEGISLATIVE SESSION REPORT
MEDICAID MANAGED CARE RESTRICTIVE NETWORKS - SB 670 sponsored by Senator Aaron Bean passed two of the three committees in the Senate, however HB 625 was not heard in the first committee of reference in the House. Next Steps: While this issue did not pass this session, FIPN lobbyists educated legislative members and staff on this issue, building allies for future legislation. Because of the political pressure brought to bear on this topic, particularly in the Senate, some of the Florida Medicaid Managed Care Health Plans on their own began opening their networks to small business pharmacies such as Molina and Staywell. Due to questions FIPN had Senators ask during public hearings on the bill, AHCA lowered their network adequacy requirements and will review lowering them again with a review later this summer. FIPN lobbyists will continue to work with AHCA on expanding more provider networks. Over the summer, we will ask our member pharmacists to engage in a grassroots outreach campaign, reaching out to legislators to continue our education efforts. This grassroots advocacy campaign will be a major part of supporting our legislation in 2018.
AHCA SECRETARY CONFIRMATION - The Senate, as required with all agency secretary appointments made by the Governor confirmed Justin Senior as Secretary of AHCA. Next Steps: During his committee hearing, Mr. Senior answered multiple questions about allowing pharmacies to participate in Medicaid Managed Care networks. Both him and his senior staff have pledged to work with FIPN over the summer on our network expansion priorities.
STUDY ON MEDICAID MANAGED CARE RESTRICTIVE NETWORKS - Senator Bean requested the legislature's Office of Program Policy Analysis & Government Accountability (OPPAGA) to conduct a study on the impact of the restrictions of Medicaid Managed Care networks on recipients and small business pharmacies. Next Steps: The Legislature uses studies by OPPAGA as background information when working on legislation. Senator Bean's office has been advised by staff at the agency the study will be completed by August 2017. We will use this data to continue to educate members and advance legislation to expand small business pharmacy access.
PBM MAC PRICING REGULATION - HB 617, by Representative Halsey Beshears passed the first committee of reference in the House, Insurance & Banking committee, this session, while SB 580, by Senator Rene Garcia passed the Senate Banking & Insurance committee. Unfortunately, the legislation stalled at that point in both chambers. We worked with Senator Garcia to amend various bills in the Senate, unfortunatel we were not able to place the language on bills that were going to pass the legislature. Next Steps: While these bills did not pass, the profile of the issue to regulate Pharmacy Benefit Managers was raised. During committee hearings, AHCA has also agreed that the pricing discrepancies is an issue. FIPN will again promote legislation on this issue in 2018.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG FORMULARIES - Senate Bill 182 amends the insurance code to prohibit an insurer or HMO from removing a prescription drug from its formulary. SB 182 passed the Senate floor and was sent to the House. The House version of the bill, HB 95 passed the Insurance & Banking committee, but the House did not take up the Senate version. Next Steps: The bill died during the 2017 session.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM REPORTING - This legislation would change the reporting requirements for pharmacists reporting the dispensing of controlled substances to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Database. Instead of reporting within seven days, pharmacies must now report via the database by the close of the next business day. HB 557, by Representative Nicholas Duran passed the House SB 840, by Senator Jeff Clemens also passed the Senate on 4/28. The bill was sent to the
Governor to be signed on 6/14 and he has until 6/29 to act on it. Next Steps: The Governor is expected to sign this bill into law.
PRESCRIPTION DRUG MONITORING PROGRAM FUNDING - HB 5203/SB 2500 are bills that would allow the state to also fund the Prescription Drug Monitoring Database with funds from the state, in addition to federal grants. These bills involve appropriations and are thus part of the budget conferencing process. Next Steps: The budget passed and was signed by the Governor, so the state will now have flexibility in how to fund the PDMP.
MAIL ORDER OF PHARMACEUTICAL SERVICES - This legislation would not require an insured patient with a chronic illness to receive their medication through a mail-order pharmacy. The Senate version, SB 1336 by Senator Rene Garcia and the House version, HB 1185 by Representative David Richardson, were both referred to three committees of reference. Neither bill was scheduled for a hearing. Next Steps: The bill died during the 2017 legislative session.
STATE EMPLOYEES PRESCRIPTION DRUG PROGRAM - House bill 993, by Representative Marylynn Magar, impacts the State Group insurance plan. It would require the Department of Management Services (DMS) to implement prescription drug formulary techniques in managing drugs, without restricting a plan member's access to the most "clinically appropriate, clinically effective, and lowest net-cost prescription drugs." The legislation would also give DMS the flexibility to exclude a drug from the formulary based on price increases, as well as to include new to market drugs. Finally, the law would permit members to have a prescription filled up to three times with a 30-day supply of maintenance drugs. After that, the prescription must be filled via mail-order or by a 90-day at retail pharmacy. DMS staff reports the bill will save the agency $55 million annually. HB 993 passed the House, and the Senate language was included in the appropriation bill SB 2508. Next Steps: Lobbyists from the FIPN and FPA worked together to remove harmful language from SB 2508, and due to the efforts of FIPN working with legislators, HB 993 died as well. This was a huge effort against requiring patients to participate with mail order pharmacy.
IMPLEMENTATION OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA - During the regular session, the legislature was unable to advance any of its medical marijuana implementation bills due to disagreements between leadership on the issue in both chambers. The Governor then included medical marijuana implementation in the call for a special session. Had the legislature not addressed the issue, due to language in the ballot initiative, the Florida Department of Health would have overseen implementation. During the special session, the legislature passed a comprehensive medical marijuana bill that allowed each of the five license holders statewide to set up 25 dispensaries. Next Steps: Current federal regulations relating to the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance does not allow pharmacies to serve as dispensaries in Florida. The Florida Department of Health has also gone on record officially stating it would be a licensure issue for Florida pharmacies with their office. Congressman Matt Gaetz has filed legislation to reclassify marijuana from a schedule I controlled substance to a schedule III. While it is unfortunate that the legislature did not set up a framework that could specifically name pharmacists or pharmacies as dispensers, members of the legislature expect that there will be various glitch and tweak bills in 2018 as the new law is implemented.