House Approves Bill Regulating Pharmacy Benefit Managers
SAN JUAN – The House of Representatives voted on legislation Saturday to regulate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which are third-party administrators that operate as intermediaries between insurers and pharmacies.
The measure contains important patient protection provisions. The seven PBMs operating on the island will have to obtain a license that costs $20,000 a year, and the Health Department’s organic law is amended to create the Pharmacy Benefit Managers and Services’ regulatory commissioner.
The lower chamber also approved a bill creating the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (Prasa) Revitalization Act to address financing and development at the public utility and define the process for the authorization and issuance of debt.
According to H.B. 3002, authored by Rep. Rafael “Tatito” Hernández, Prasa will be provided the tools to access capital markets to become self-sustaining by implementing industry best practices and technology.
House Bill 2845, authored by Rep. Jesús Santa Rodríguez, was approved to amend the Interagency Coordinator Act for Government Pension Plan Affairs. The amendment stipulates that any person holding the position receives specialized training on public pension systems, passes a written exam and takes continuing education courses annually.
House Bill 2933, also by Santa Rodríguez, was approved to amend the Work Safety and Health Act to adapt to technological advances and federal regulations.
In addition, Rep. Ramón Luis Cruz Burgos’ H.B. 2935 was approved to amend the Puerto Rico Vehicle and Traffic Act so the issuance of a first traffic violation is treated as an administrative offense, punishable by a fine, and that a second conviction be considered a misdemeanor.