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Senate Receives Rx Blueprint Plan That Reduces Spending and Increases Quality
Date:3/29/2011

TALLAHASSEE, Fla., March 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Public/Private Sector Strategies for America's Health Care Future (PS2) has delivered to Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, its report detailing how the state can reduce its spending on pharmaceuticals. The report makes recommendations in 21 areas that conservatively would save Florida taxpayers up to $170 million a year.

"Our charge was to identify steps the state could take that would result in maximum savings and at the same time mitigate the harm to those served by the various state programs," Jeffrey Lewis, president of PS2, said. "The PS2 blueprint provides the Legislature with a roadmap to achieve effective and important legislative changes to smart prescription drug purchasing and management.  It demonstrates real solutions for real problems."

PS2's report, The Florida Rx Blueprint: Achieving Greater Savings for Florida's Taxpayers, will assist public policymakers as they seek to reduce government spending. The report provides an explanation of the pharmaceutical problems the state faces and solutions to those problems. As the analysis notes, some of the issues involved are complicated.

Some of the report's recommendations are:

  • Change the way Medicaid operates its prescription drug program by creating a single list of drugs from which all doctors must prescribe to control costs and eliminate abuse more effectively. The savings would be $50 million.
  • Change the way specialty medications (high-cost drugs that require special handling and administration, temperature-controlled shipping and careful adherence to treatment protocols) are managed.
  • Create a rational way to pay pharmacists for dispensing medications. Rather than legislate a fee, allow the private market to work just as in the private sector.
  • Expand a pilot program that uses county health departments to treat Department of Corrections' inmates with HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. By expanding the program, the department could leverage better its use of a special federal price discount program and reduce its prescription drug costs by $7.2 million.
  • Choose a single vendor through a competitive bidding process instead of having the state continue to use five different pharmacy benefit managers for various pharmacy health programs either directly or through managed care.
  • Promote more effectively the use in state programs of generic drugs, which are significantly less expensive than brand-name drugs.

Currently, the state of Florida spends more than $1.5 billion on pharmaceuticals. These expenses are incurred by at least seven state agencies with a multitude of programs. A constant theme of the report is a lack of coordination among state departments, a lack of transparency and lack of value-based contracting.

The Florida Senate commissioned the Rx Blueprint report. A full copy is available at: www.ps2healthcare.org.

 


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SOURCE Public/Private Sector Strategies for America's Health Care Future
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