Wyden “C-Thru” Bill Helps Pull Back Curtain on Duplicitous PBM “Rebates,” Suspect Pricing Schemes, Related Anti-Competitive Behavior

Noting a torrent of bipartisan legislation recently introduced requiring Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) drug middlemen to pull back the curtain on veiled, opaque pharmaceutical pricing practices, the Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC) today backed Sen. Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) “Creating Transparency to Have Drug Rebates Unlocked Act” (C-THRU) bill. The legislation requires PBMs — for the first time — to publicly disclose data regarding “rebates,” “discounts” and other accrued payments — and their impact on Medicare Part D beneficiaries and the Part D program overall.

“PBMs are under heavy scrutiny on both sides of the aisle due to their stubborn, blanket and unjustifiable resistance to transparency — and SCPC strongly supports Senator Wyden’s ‘C-THRU’ bill as a way to lift the veil of secrecy surrounding PBM behaviors that result in higher costs to consumers and lower savings for the Medicare program,” said Alan G. Rosenbloom, President and CEO of SCPC, which advocates for the nation’s long term care (LTC) pharmacies.

Continued Rosenbloom, “Senator Wyden is precisely correct in his observation that ‘the public knows virtually nothing about whether PBMs are saving money for the consumer or pocketing it themselves’.” The SCPC President and CEO pointed to a damaging January 2017 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) report finding that drug companies, wholesalers and pharmacies are paying larger rebates and hidden fees to PBMs and insurers — but that PBMs are keeping the money rather than translating it into lower costs for beneficiaries or government health care programs.

Read the story here