ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation today voted to advance the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act (S. 4293), which was introduced by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and endorsed by the National Community Pharmacists Association.
The committee advanced the bill in a bipartisan vote of 19-9. After the vote, NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, issued the following statement:
“Health insurer-owned PBMs have one-sided relationships with consumers and pharmacies, and these relationships lead to higher prescription drug prices and restricted access to care. PBM tactics are causing small business pharmacies to struggle to remain viable and open to provide needed health care services. They must be reined in.
“NCPA strongly supports the PBM Transparency Act and applauds its progress through the Senate Commerce Committee. We encourage Senate leadership to bring it swiftly up for a vote and will continue working to assist Sens. Cantwell and Grassley in moving it forward.”
The PBM Transparency Act empowers the Federal Trade Commission to increase drug pricing transparency and hold PBMs accountable for unfair and deceptive practices that drive up the costs of prescription drugs at the expense of consumers. It would ban deceptive unfair pricing schemes like spread pricing and prohibit arbitrary clawbacks of payments made to pharmacies. During the Commerce Committee’s session the legislation was amended to allow other state officials to bring action to enforce the law if the state attorney general lacks jurisdiction to do so, and to add text relating to a Government Accountability Office study of PBM practices.
Click for NCPA’s letter of support for the PBM Transparency Act.