Lauren's Legislative Update: The Midterms Edition

Nov 23, 2022

Now that midterm elections are mostly complete, we’re grateful for the reprieve from political ads, debates, texts and robocalls. While midterms are generally not as flashy as their presidential counterparts, they can still have a big impact on proposed legislation.

What Happened This Year:

Redistricting created thousands of new legislative districts that produced new names on many ballots, leaving pharmacy owners across the country hoping Congress continues the push for transparency (and karma) on drug pricing and PBM reform.

Local pharmacies proved to be important touchpoints of healthcare access for patients. State legislatures are now taking a multitude of approaches on PBM reform, and it’s going to take people from every ideology to stand up for our businesses and patients. Multiple states have made strides towards enforceable PBM reform, thanks to the many owners and patients who took the time to educate their legislators.

Congrats to the PUTT Legislative Rockstars who won their races and are able to continue pushing for much needed reform! Whether you are in Sen. James Skoufis’s district in New York, newly elected Rep. Shane Abbott’s district in Florida, or a citizen of Arkansas under newly elected Lt. Governor Leslie Rutledge, your patients are counting on you to keep getting loud for your profession and their wellbeing.

Now What?

The conclusion of midterms also means veto or lame duck sessions are upon us. Memories of pending legislation that didn’t gain traction during regular legislative sessions can vanish before the new legislatures are sworn in come January.

Centene is settling with another state over exorbitant spread pricing, and some state legislators continue to endorse sending MCOs and PBMs a blank check for state Medicaid problems. Issues like these are only beginning to hit resistance and it’s up to us to keep up the pressure.

If your elected official is a friend of Community Pharmacy, offer to be a resource for them in case any patient comes to them with a pharmacy-related issue. If your pharmacy champion won’t be returning, we’ll help you befriend the new faces in your statehouse who might breathe new life into the fight against PBM abuse.

Here at PUTT we’re staying positive that federal anti-monopoly and antitrust discussions and investigations continue to pressure the broken system we’re fighting to correct. Patients and healthcare providers will no longer be ignored.

As always, we are happy to provide members with infographics, flyers, studies, etc to help when you meet with your elected officials. And don’t forget to let us know if you have a new pharmacy champion to add to our PUTT Legislative Rockstar list!

Until Next Session,
Lauren Young, PUTT Board of Directors