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Jacksonville Lawmakers Call For Expanded Drug Price Transparency

Tom Varco
Wikimedia Commons

Florida patients could soon have access to more information about the average costs of their prescription drugs.

Rep. Clay Yarborough (R-Jacksonville) wants to expand a state drug-price database started more than a decade ago. His bill unanimously cleared its first hurdle in Tallahassee on Wednesday. A second bill from Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, has yet to get a hearing. lists 150 of the most commonly prescribed drugs and their average out of pocket costs for a month’s supply.  The website also lists where to find the medicine.

In the bill’s first committee hearing, Yarborough said he wants to expand that program.

“House Bill 589 would double the number that we currently have to be 300 on the website and additionally the bill codifies the current practice of monthly reporting of prescription drug pricing information,” he said.

His bill would also require pharmacies to report price changes monthly-- something many are already doing voluntarily.  Current law requires just quarterly reports.

Yarborough said he hopes further transparency drives drug prices down at a time when the cost of prescription medicine is expected to jump nearly 19 percent this year. That’s according to a report from theAmericans for Tax Fairness.

All members of the Health Innovation Subcommittee approved Yarborough’s proposal.

Photo: "Prozac Pills" by Tom Varco used under Creative Commons license.

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Reporter Ryan Benk can be reached at, 904-358-6319 or on Twitter @RyanMichaelBenk.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.