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Lawmaker: No Switching Drugs Just To Save Money

Judy Van Der Velden via Flickr

Florida lawmakers want to block health plans from changing the medications prescribed by doctors.  Bill sponsors say switching drugs can be harmful for some patients.

People with chronic conditions like epilepsy rely on prescriptions medication to manage their illnesses.  And Vero Beach Republican Representative Debbie Mayfield worries changing those treatments unnecessarily can be dangerous.

“Once you’re stabilized, what we’re finding is that these drug companies are changing the formularity because they can find something cheaper,” Mayfield says.  “But, so—it affects the health of the patient—and so they’re having to constantly change.”

“All we’re saying is, look, you have a contract and you can’t change that during that contract period,” she says.

Mayfield is sponsoring legislation that would limit the ability of health plans to reclassify or exclude medications they cover.  Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) is sponsoring the Senate companion.