ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association is supporting two pieces of legislation
reintroduced in the Senate on Thursday that will bring transparency to pharmacy benefit managers. Sens. Maria Cantwell (D, Wash.) and Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) reintroduced:
- The PBM Transparency Act (S. 127), which provides plan sponsors/employers much needed transparency on how PBMs administer their pharmacy benefit and clarifies the Federal Trade Commission’s enforcement authority to prohibit unfair or deceptive business practices, like spread pricing, that drive up the costs of prescription drugs at the expense of consumers. It would prohibit arbitrary clawbacks of payments made to pharmacies. If state attorneys general lack jurisdiction to enforce the law, it also allows other state officials to bring action to do so.
- The Prescription Pricing for the People Act (S. 113), which keeps the pressure on the Federal Trade Commission to complete its probe into the role and recent merger activity of PBMs, including possible anticompetitive behavior. This would bring more transparency into health care and support Congress as it crafts evidence-based solutions to address high drug costs and patient challenges in accessing needed health care services from the pharmacy of their choice.
NCPA issued the following statement on behalf of Anne Cassity, senior vice president of government affairs, in support of the bills:
“For years now, PBM tactics have led to increased costs and delayed access to care for consumers. They have also made it harder for small business pharmacies to keep their doors open. That weakens the entire health care system, because community pharmacies provide essential services to millions of Americans, especially underserved populations.
“We’re grateful to Sens. Cantwell and Grassley for continuing fighting to pull back the curtain on PBMs and push for FTC review of anticompetitive PBM practices. Policymakers, including those at the FTC, must act with urgency and ignore the mega-PBMs’ predictable attempts to slow down progress. For the sake of patients and independent pharmacies, reforms can’t come soon enough.”
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