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Drug-Repackaging Bill Passes Senate

A measure dealing with workers comp and repackaging prescription drugs is one step closer to becoming law. The reform bill has been almost four years in the making.

Currently physicians are allowed to sell prescription drugs to their patients on workman’s comp at prices above the market rate. Supporters of the bill say sometimes those doctors charge upwards of 300% of their wholesale value. Business groups contend that drives workers comp costs up, but physician lobbyists say doctors have to charge more because they don’t buy in bulk like pharmacies. The measure proposed by Representative Matt Hudson, a Republican from Naples, would cap the amount doctors can charge employers at 112% of wholesale value.

“Previously there had not been a cap placed on repackaged drugs and only drugs that came from a pharmacy itself, this will help to stabilize rates,” Hudson said.

Physician groups were originally opposed to the measure because it would’ve capped prices at wholesale, but after the bill was amended to allow doctors to charge the 112%, they agreed to the compromise.  House bill 605 passed its final committee unanimously. The identical Senate bill also passed unanimously.