Rx: Take up Senate’s pharmacy bills twice a day until they are passed

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It is the last week of session and a number of pharmacy-related issues are still to be decided. Make no mistake about it: while complex and difficult to sort through, these are issues that the public should care a lot about.

The political landscape on pharmacy issues is about as confusing as the bills themselves.

On one hand, we have the House suggesting that central fill and automated pharmacies can have unlimited numbers of technicians under the supervision of a pharmacist. The Senate wisely does not want unlimited technicians on hand because they happen to care about patient safety rather than helping Walgreens pad its bottom line. If the Legislature wants to undo the progress made in limiting the activity of pill mills, they’d be wise to keep technicians under close eye. Any alternative will be a breeding ground for a whole new unregulated pill mill industry.

Then, there is SB 862, which provides various measures to aid the Prescription Drug Monitoring program. The House would be wise to adopt the Senate’s position on recurring funds to operate it. This measure also happens to be a priority of Attorney General Pam Bondi.

SB 702 relates to pharmacy audits. This measure has an identical House companion. Passage of this bill would help to level the playing field between pharmacists and pharmacy benefit managers — a long overdue fix.

Floridians rely heavily on their neighborhood pharmacies. The standards lawmakers set for these operations are a big deal.

 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.