ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association, representing more than 21,000 independent pharmacies, today urged the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice to defend a rule now under assault by the powerful pharmacy benefit manager lobby that would create transparency in the murky prescription drug pricing system.
“The PBM lobby represents some of the largest, most profitable, and least transparent corporations in the world,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey. “They will spend whatever it takes, and fight for as long as it takes, to maintain the complexity and secrecy on which their profits depend.”
The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, which represents the gigantic corporate middlemen who increase prescription costs by charging drug makers, employers, and pharmacies tolls for processing patient prescriptions, sued recently to block a federal regulation that would force PBMs to disclose the historical net prices they negotiate with pharmaceutical manufacturers. That information would be made available to the public.
“Price transparency is necessary for any market to function properly. There’s very little of it in the prescription drug market,” said Hoey. “There’s no way for patients, consumers, taxpayers, employers, insurance plans, or policymakers to make informed decisions without knowing the true price of drugs.
“No one should be surprised that the middlemen profiting most from the lack of transparency are fighting to keep everyone in the dark. This rule shines a light on these deals, and we very strongly urge HHS and the DOJ to defend it.”