Under Merritt’s leadership, PCMA grew from an obscure group into the nation’s leading voice on prescription drug benefits. One of his first missions was to help shape the bill which established the Medicare Part D program in 2003. Since then, Merritt has helped navigate the industry through countless legislative and regulatory debates in Washington, D.C. and the states, including the Affordable Care Act.
Throughout all these challenges, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have emerged stronger because of their consistent ability to show policymakers how they improve benefits and reduce prescription drug costs. Merritt has routinely been ranked among Washington’s most effective lobbyists in surveys of key decision-makers and opinion leaders.
“Mark leaves big shoes to fill. When he came aboard in 2003, he started from scratch and built PCMA into one of the most effective advocacy and lobbying groups in American health care,” said PCMA board chairman Tim Wentworth of Express Scripts, a member company.
“We deeply appreciate his leadership guiding PCMA during a time when our industry grew and evolved dramatically amidst a political period often dominated by contentious health care debates. I am pleased that Mark has shared his decision now and will stay on and help ensure a smooth transition as we work to build on PCMA’s successes and launch a search for his successor.”
Merritt’s rare combination of public affairs and legislative skills helped him lead the industry’s advocacy efforts on many important fronts, including establishment and implementation of the Medicare Part D drug benefit program; greater expansion of generics and biosimilars to lower the cost of prescription drugs; adoption of electronic prescribing technologies to improve patient safety and fight substance abuse; and launching award-winning campaigns to educate decision-makers on how PBMs reduce costs and improve patient satisfaction.
“It’s been one of the great privileges of my career to help guide PCMA and its outstanding member companies through an increasingly complex health care environment,” Merritt said. “I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished as an industry and pleased that PCMA is well positioned to handle the challenges of the future.”