Inside This Issue - News
A move toward greater transparency
March 26th, 2012
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Utah state legislature’s passage of a bill that would require audits conducted by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to be “fair and rational” has been praised by the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, which asserts that the action addresses the concern that PBMs jeopardize neighborhood pharmacies and patient care.
The Pharmacy Audit Integrity and Recovery Act (H.B. 76), sponsored by Rep. Evan Vickers (a Republican and also a pharmacist), would require audits involving clinical or professional judgment to be conducted by or in consultation with a pharmacist and with 10 days’ advance written notice.
The bill also limits the number of selected prescription claims to 200 and does not allow for recoupment of funds for clerical errors.
“Passage of this legislation is an important step in curbing questionable tactics used by PBMs that only seek to hurt patients and increase already skyrocketing health care costs,” says NACDS president and chief executive officer Steve Anderson. “The lack of transparency by PBMs in the audit process has penalized community pharmacy and, more importantly, posed challenges to patients, including increased drug costs. We thank Rep. Vickers for his leadership in passing this bill as well as the efforts of the Utah Retail Merchants Association and the Utah Food Industry Association in achieving this legislative victory.”
The bill now heads to Gov. Gary Herbert (Republican) for signature. “We urge Gov. Herbert to follow the lead of the Senate and House and sign this pro-patient, pro-pharmacy bill into law,” Anderson says.
NACDS has also endorsed the federal Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act, which includes provisions requiring transparency in how PBMs conduct pharmacy audits.