Milwaukee Community Journal
WI ASSEMBLY VOTES 96-0 PASSING LEGISLATION TO HOLD PBMs ACCOUNTABLE FOR RISING DRUG COSTS AND PROTECT PATIENTS AND PHARMACISTS STATEWIDE
The Wisconsin Pharmacy Patient Protection Coalition (WPPPC), which represents patients, health groups, pharmacists and others negatively impacted by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), today thanked representatives in the Wisconsin State Assembly for passing AB114 by a roll call vote of 96-0 in favor of the legislation. The bill holds PBMs accountable for secretive practices that currently increase prescription prices; delay patient access to medications; and have contractually gagged pharmacists from talking about what is happening with customers.
“We thank the State Assembly for sending a strong bipartisan message that Wisconsin is now very aware of what has been going on and that something needs to be done to help protect patients and pharmacists statewide from the PBM middlemen,” said Rob Gundermann, chair of the WPPPC and president and CEO of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging & Health Groups. “PBM policies are part of the problem with rising prescription prices in Wisconsin and elsewhere. That’s why 40 states have already passed similar legislation to reform PBM activity. It is time to fix Wisconsin’s PBM problem!”
The Assembly vote now moves the measure to the Senate, where companion bill SB100 received overwhelmingly positive testimony last week during a committee hearing with patients and pharmacists. A full Senate vote could come by mid-March, according to the WPPPC.
A total of 104 cosponsors have signed onto the bipartisan legislation supporting regulation of the PBMs. Primary sponsors of the bills include Representative Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh), Representative Debra Kolste (D-Janesville), Senator Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) and Senator Roger Roth (R-Appleton). To view both bills and their support go to SB100 and AB114.
Those interested in supporting the Wisconsin Pharmacy Patient Protection Coalition can follow the group on Twitter and Facebook, and can also view this video that further explains the PBM process. Everyone is encouraged to send an email and/or call your local legislators by going to www.WI4Patients.com or https://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov. Urge them to learn more and help protect Wisconsin consumers from greedy PBMs by supporting the PBM legislation (SB100/AB114) in the Senate or thanking Assembly representatives for voting for the bill.
Members of the Wisconsin Pharmacy Patient Protection Coalition include: American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network; American Diabetes Association; AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin; Coalition of Wisconsin Aging and Health Groups; Epilepsy Foundation; Great Lakes Hemophilia Foundation, Hometown Pharmacy; Lupus Foundation of America, Wisconsin Chapter; National Infusion Center; National Multiple Sclerosis Society; Pharmacy Society of Wisconsin; Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health; Wisconsin Medical Society, Wisconsin Rheumatology Association and the Wisconsin Association of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons.