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Legislation to Close Loophole in Workers’ Compensation System Passes First Committee in Senate

January 19, 2012

Coalition Priority Legislation to Address Drug Repackaging Loophole Gains Momentum

Tallahassee, Fla. – Senate Bill 668, sponsored by Senator Alan Hays (R-Umatilla), today passed the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, its first committee of reference. SB 668 focuses on correcting a loophole in the workers’ compensation system that allows physicians to dispense repackaged drugs and charge employers exorbitant prices that greatly exceed the statutory reimbursement for the same pharmaceuticals dispensed by pharmacies. The existing loophole allows repackaged or relabeled prescription drugs to be dispensed at rates up to 679% more than what a pharmacy would charge.

The Workers’ Compensation Coalition and its more than 60 members have made the drug repackaging issue one of their top priorities for the 2012 Legislative Session.

SB 668 seeks to:

  • Establish fairness with workers’ compensation prescription drug reimbursement rates;
  • Reduce the rising workers’ compensation rates Florida businesses are being forced to pay; and,
  • Ensure workers’ compensation patients receive premium medical treatment.

“The rising workers’ compensation rates are driving up the cost of doing business in Florida,” said Tamela Perdue, general counsel for Associated Industries of Florida. “Physicians dispensing repackaged drugs that have been knocked off the fee schedule are creating millions of dollars in unwarranted expenses for businesses in our state who are already suffering the hard-hits of our down economy.”

“Florida businesses should be encouraged that this proposal has received some movement in the Senate,” added Perdue. “We are hopeful this momentum will continue for this good bill and Florida businesses and employers. We encourage both chambers to act now and pass this good bill this session.”