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NACDS commends Senate Finance Committee for scheduling PBM reform bill markup

The committee will hold a legislative markup on July 26 of PBM proposals addressing pharmacy benefit manager practices.

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is applauding the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance for scheduling action on pharmacy benefit manager reform.

The Committee’s jurisdiction over Medicare and Medicaid makes its work crucial for achieving real and comprehensive reform of pharmaceutical middleman tactics, NACDS said.

On Wednesday, the Committee announced that it will hold a legislative markup on July 26 of PBM proposals addressing the “pharmacy benefit manager practices that have grown increasingly complex and opaque in recent years at the expense of patients and taxpayers.”

“NACDS appreciates the bipartisan leadership of Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) to deliver on PBM reform,” said Steve Anderson, president and CEO of NACDS. “Importantly, in the U.S. Congress, we are seeing bipartisan commitment and work across the Senate and House of Representatives to provide meaningful reform for patients and for the pharmacies that serve them.”

[Read more: NCPA, NACDS commend House committee investigation on PBMs]

Anderson continued, “As the Senate Finance Committee considers its legislative package, NACDS emphasizes the crucial importance of two bills that are consistent with the Senate Finance Committee’s Bipartisan Framework for Reducing Prescription Drug Costs: the Drug Price Transparency in Medicaid Act (S. 1038) and the Protect Patient Access to Pharmacies Act (S. 2052). Specifically, the bills would deliver essential reforms in Medicaid and Medicare. S. 1038 and S. 2052 are vital for real PBM reform, and for addressing ‘pharmaceutical benefit manipulation’ that harms the most vulnerable in the Medicaid and Medicare programs.”

Overall, NACDS is advocating for comprehensive PBM reform across all payer segments, consistent with NACDS’ Principles of PBM Reform. Direct and indirect remuneration fee (DIR fee) reform remains an important aspect of PBM reform.  NACDS’ Principles of PBM reform include: stopping explosive retroactive fees; stopping below-cost reimbursement; stopping the gaming of performance measures; stopping “specialty definitions” from steering patients from their pharmacy; stopping mandatory mail-order; stopping limited networks; stopping overwhelming audits; and stopping the undercutting of “PBM” reform laws.

[Read more: AAM report: Middlemen increasingly block patient access to new generics]

In May, NACDS commended the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Health for including the House companion of S. 1038the Drug Pricing Transparency in Medicaid Act (H.R. 1613)into the broader PATIENT Act (H.R. 3561), which unanimously cleared the Committee on a 49-0 vote. 

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