ALEXANDRIA, Va. – In a statement released Thursday, National Community Pharmacists Association CEO B. Douglas Hoey says the organization is pleased that two pieces of legislation reintroduced in the Senate in January are advancing through committees of jurisdiction. The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Thursday discussed the PBM Transparency Act (S. 127), and reports indicate that a vote will follow in the coming weeks. The Prescription Pricing for the People Act (S. 113) passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week. Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) are leading these bills, which will bring needed transparency to pharmacy benefit managers and the role they play in our prescription drug pricing system.
“The higher prescription drug costs go, the higher PBM profits go,” Hoey said. “PBMs accomplish this using maneuvers we have some degree of insight into – like spread pricing, steering patients to pharmacies they own or are affiliated with, retroactive reimbursement clawbacks, or through a sneaky system of price concessions – but also through contracting tricks, rebates, and other deceptive tactics that policymakers haven’t yet been able to truly scrutinize.
“Community pharmacy has been pushing consistently for the last 15 years for PBM transparency and reforms, given the effects their machinations are having on independent community pharmacies and the patients they serve. We’re hopeful that with the advancement of these Cantwell-Grassley bills, the ongoing Federal Trade Commission investigation, court cases, and the many state-level studies, policies and more, a straightforward and patient-friendly health care system is on the horizon.”
For NCPA’s statement for the record in favor of the PBM Transparency Act, click here.
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