Senate looks at restrictions on pharmacy audits

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Additional restrictions on pharmacy audits passed a Senate committee Thursday, despite objections from the managed-care industry.

Sponsored by Sen. Aaron Bean, SB 702 — supported by the Florida Pharmacy Association and Walgreens Inc. — addresses audits conducted by pharmacy-benefit managers, who work for health plans.

According to Bean, the bill establishes rights such as making sure pharmacies have adequate notice before audits. Several in the pharmacy industry have protested, saying that audits often lead to financial penalties for minor things such as clerical errors.

But Joy Ryan, who lobbies for pharmacy-benefit manager Prime Therapeutics, whose customers include the Florida Blue healthcare plan, said pharmacy audits are meant to focus on issues such as costs, quality and potential fraud.

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.