HB 21-Relating to Controlled Substances
On Wednesday, January 10th, HB 21 by Representative Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) was heard before the House Health Quality Subcommittee and passed by a vote of 15 yeas to 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in support of this bill.
This bill addresses opioid abuse by expanding the use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), increasing regulation of prescribers and dispensers, and aligning state criminal statutes with federal law. HB 21 limits the prescription for a Schedule II opioid to alleviate acute pain to a three-day supply, or a seven-day supply if deemed medically necessary by the prescriber.
The bill also requires the Department of Health (DOH) to adopt rules establishing guidelines for prescribing controlled substances for acute pain, similar to those for chronic pain. Additionally, The bill also requires a health care practitioner authorized to prescribe controlled substances to complete a board approved 2-hour continuing education course on safely and effectively prescribing controlled substances, and to review a patient’s PDMP history prior to prescribing or dispensing a controlled substance.
HB 21 will go on to the House Appropriations Committee to be heard.
AIF supports legislative efforts that aim to curb opioid abuse and addiction that is currently running rampant through the state effecting Florida’s families and businesses.
SB 98-Relating to Health Insurer Authorization
On Thursday, January 11th, SB 98, by Senator Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) was heard before the Senate Committee on Rules and passed by a vote of 11 yeas to 0 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, spoke in opposition to this bill.
This legislation creates a standard process for the approval or denial of (1) prior authorizations and (2) step therapy (“fail-first”) protocol exceptions. Currently, the many health insurance carriers in Florida employ robust policy product offerings containing medically-proven prior-authorization and step-therapy programs designed to reflect the protocols and standards of care, advanced and adopted by a vast array of specialty physicians based on their latest evidence-based research.
These procedures and protocols allow for the use of the safest, most appropriate and most cost-effective drug, and permit progressing to other, more costly drugs with more sophisticated interactions and side-effects, in accordance with FDA approvals.
SB 98 will move on to the Senate floor to be heard.
AIF opposes this legislation as it would force insurers and consumers to purchase the most expensive drugs and treatments even when equally effective therapies are available at much lower costs.