ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The National Community Pharmacists Association is strongly
supporting the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act, new legislation introduced today by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D, Wash.) and Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa). The bill would give the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general the ability to penalize and/or initiate legal action against pharmacy benefit managers for certain unfair or deceptive business practices in the commercial space.
“PBM-insurers have manipulated our complex health care system so they can set their competitors’ prices, dictate their competitors’ reimbursements, use competitors’ data to steer patients to PBM-affiliated retail, specialty and mail-order pharmacies, and limit where and what consumers can buy,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey. “There are plenty of PBM actions for policymakers and regulators to address in order to ease the havoc they have wreaked on patients and small business independent pharmacies. NCPA is grateful to Sens. Cantwell and Grassley for their ongoing support of PBM reform. We’re proud to endorse their latest effort, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act, and will work to help it advance.”
Cantwell is chair of the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee. Its Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security recently held a hearing that examined steps Congress can take to increase transparency in drug prices, require PBMs to operate fairly, and ensure the FTC has the authority it needs to stop unfair practices in the prescription drug market. The Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act, which falls under the Commerce Committee’s jurisdiction, is a natural next step forward in the legislative process. Grassley, like Cantwell, has worked for years to bring more transparency into health care, limit anticompetitive PBM practices, and benefit Americans through greater oversight.
Click for the news release from Sens. Cantwell and Grassley, which includes a link to the bill text.
Click for NCPA’s letter of support.