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Pharmacy Bills Moving, Pharmacist Candidate Doing Well, FPA Files Petition and More

Apr 15, 2021 | Latest News

April 15, 2021

As you are receiving this we are getting nearer to the end of the 2021 legislative session.  Starting Monday morning, there will be two weeks remaining for the House and Senate to complete its work. Subcommittees will no longer be meeting and the focus will likely be work on the proposed budget.  As you are receiving this newsletter there are 29 bills that have passed both the House and Senate.  The Capitol has essentially been sealed off to the public due to the pandemic so there is likely not much that will be coming out this legislative session.  It still has not stopped our advocacy efforts.

We want to take this moment to thank those of you who have been responding to our advocacy alerts and especially thank the Student Advocacy Outreach Team for their hard work this legislative session.

Michael Jackson, BPharm, CPh
Executive Vice President and CEO


PBM Bill Passes Senate Committee

SB390 sponsored by Senator Tom Wright passed the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment and General Government with no objections.  This bill included certain provisions to transfer the regulation of PBMs from the Board of Pharmacy to the Office of Insurance Regulations.  There was an attempted to add to the bill an FPA supported amendment that was stripped off of the first committee however the sponsor of the amendment withdrew his amendment.  The bill’s final stop is Senate Appropriations.

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House PBM Bill Withdrawn from Committees

HB1155 is being prepared to match up with SB390.  Similar to the Senate version HB1155 is moving audit standards from the Board of Pharmacy to the Office of Insurance Regulation.  The House version has a $10,000 fine for failure of PBMs to register with the State of Florida while the Senate version currently does not.  There were originally 4 committees referenced for this bill however 2 have been removed and one committee has found the bill favorable.  That means that the only committee left for this bill is the House Health and Human Services Committee.

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House District 5 Candidate Shane Abbott attends Tallahassee Fundraiser facilitated by Adams Street Advocates.  “Shane is doing very well in his efforts to win the seat being vacated by Rep Brad Drake who is term limited”, said FPA Executive Vice President Michael Jackson.  The Florida Pharmacist Political Committee is supporting this campaign which may finally seat a pharmacist in the Florida House.


Vaccine Bills Moving in the Florida Legislature

HB1063 is making its way to the House floor for debate.  This bill removes a reference to a 2015 publication of vaccines that a pharmacist can administer and instead references the 2021 CDC recommended schedule as well as any vaccines licensed or authorized by the FDA for emergency use.  The change also allows pharmacists to administer influenza vaccines to children age 7 and older.  The bill also increases the number of interns who administer vaccines that a pharmacist can supervise from one to three.  We are currently waiting on the House to take final action on this bill.

The Senate version which is tracking very closely with the House version has been placed on the Rules Committee agenda for Friday, April 16th.  This is the final committee stop for this bill before it goes to the floor of the Senate.

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Telehealth Legislation Moving in the House and Senate

SB700 has passed both the Senate Health Policy Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services.  The final committee on the Senate side is Senate Appropriations.  Included in this legislation was language that created a remote pharmacy staffed by registered technicians and supervised remotely by pharmacists.  That language was objected to the by the FPA and the sponsor of the bill obliged by removing it.  Unfortunately an amendment was added that inserted a narrow focused remote pharmacy run by technicians in community mental health centers or clinics.  An additional amendment was added that recognizes pharmacists as telehealth providers and requires reimbursement for those services.  The House (HB247) and Senate versions are vastly different from each other so we will continue to monitor the issue.  There is similar language in HB1477 but it has not been heard in any committee on the House side.

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House and Senate Set to Change Medicaid Reimbursement

House bill 1057 and Senate bill 1292 seeking to make revisions to Medicaid reimbursement are moving through committees.  The current Medicaid statutes describe the reimbursement for pharmacy is a dispensing fee and the lower of the following:

  • Average wholesale price minus 16.4%
  • Wholesaler acquisition cost plus 1.5%
  • Federal upper limit
  • State maximum allowable cost
  • Usual and customary charge billed by the pharmacy provider

The proposed revision to pharmacy reimbursement include in these bills is a dispensing fee and the lower of the following:

  • Actual acquisition cost based upon the CDC National Average Drug Acquisition Cost
  • Wholesale acquisition cost
  • State maximum allowable cost
  • Usual and customary charge billed by the pharmacy provider

The Senate version is on the Appropriations Committee agenda scheduled for April 19th at 10:00 am.  This is the last stop for this bill in the Senate.  The House version is on second reading.




Dispensing of Drugs by Inpatient Facilities

There are bills on the House and Senate side that have nearly completed their committee work.  The Senate version (SB262) has one more committee stop in Appropriations on April 19th and then it will head to the Senate floor.  The House version (HB29) has passed its two committees and is on second reading on the House floor.  These bills if approved by the legislature and signed by Governor DeSantis will allow hospital emergency departments to dispense up to a 48 hour supply of prescription medications or enough to last until the next business day whichever is greater.  The bill will also allow hospitals to dispense up to a 72 hour supply if there is a declared state of emergency.


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FPA Files Petition for Rulemaking with FL Board of Pharmacy

HB59 passed during the 2020 legislative session created an automated dispensing system managed by community pharmacies.  The Association had a number of concerns with the lack of clarity in the legislation and has requested the Board to craft rules.  While the Board of Pharmacy Rules Committee felt that there is adequate language in HB59, there was interest in looking at clarifying who can be delegated the responsibility of restocking these systems.  This will be discussed at future Board meetings.


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