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ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday sent letters to U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., applauding their sponsorship of companion legislation that seeks to preserve pharmacy choice for patients.
The bipartisan Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act (H.R. 1971 and S. 1058) seeks to address concerns about some pharmacy benefit management tactics and includes provisions related to transparency, the frequency of updating maximum allowable cost pricing, networks, audits, use of data and forced use of a PBM’s own mail-order pharmacy.
“This legislation will protect American consumers and the pharmacies that serve them from corporate middlemen known as PBMs. Despite their claims to the contrary, PBMs drive up prescription drug costs, restrict consumers’ choice of pharmacy [and] use gimmicks to delay payments to pharmacies,” NACDS stated in its letter.
“The PBMs’ anti-competitive and abusive practices are key components of skyrocketing healthcare costs … such as switching patients to more expensive drugs in order to reap huge ‘rebates’ from drug makers. PBMs favor brand-name drugs over generics for the same reason; in fact, PBM mail-order pharmacies dispense cost-saving generics much less often than neighborhood pharmacies.”
NACDS thanked both lawmakers for their commitment to pharmacy choice and access, stating, “This is important legislation that will help many people both in your state [and] across America. Pharmacies and their patients have been pushed around by the PBMs for far too long, and this bill is long overdue.”