PUTT ON CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS: FULL PBM OVERSIGHT, TRANSPARENCY REQUIRED IF WE ARE TO FIX OUR BROKEN PRESCRIPTION DRUG SYSTEM
On Tuesday April 9 and Wednesday April 10 the Senate Finance Committee and House Energy and Commerce Committee respectively convened hearings to question pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) about their role in the high cost of prescription drugs. Unfortunately, questions asked by the Senate barely skimmed the surface of the problem, and PBM answers were predictably limited to a handful of tired talking points about “saving clients money” and “passing 100% of rebates through to their clients”.
While neither hearing resulted in transparency or even a clear definition of “client”, we applaud Rep. Buddy Carter for calling attention to the relationship between PBM-negotiated rebates and insurance companies - notably the ones that own PBMs and those that are PBM-owned. That is to say, PBMs with financial ties to insurance companies are very often negotiating and keeping rebates for their parent company, which another version of keeping the rebate to the benefit of their own bottom line.
Congress can hardly be blamed for a system so complicated and opaque that not even the antitrust division of the Department of Justice understands it enough to block the merger between CVS Health and Aetna for obvious conflict-of-interest reasons.
DRUG IMPORTATION FROM CANADA OR OTHER COUNTRIES WILL NOT FIX AMERICA’S BROKEN PRESCRIPTION DRUG SYSTEM
The latest idea to “fix” America’s broken prescription drug system is no fix at all. We, the pharmacists of Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency, are calling out those who would have the nation believe the best way to deal with our country’s escalating medication cost crisis is to turn to another country in hopes of somehow “stimulating competition” as solution to a problem of our own making.
The complexities of prescription drug pricing notwithstanding, there are numerous reasons why drug importation is a bad idea:
PUTT CALLS ON VIRGINIA’S DEPARTMENT OF MEDICAL ASSISTANCE SERVICES TO RELEASE RECENTLY-DELIVERED PHARMACY BENEFITS MANAGER AUDIT REPORT
WINSTON-SALEM, NC (November 13, 2018) -- Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) is disappointed to learn that Virginia’s Department of Medical Assistance (DMAS) is shielding information collected from the Managed Care Organization (MCO) and Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) audit report, which was undertaken for accountability to the Commonwealth of this taxpayer funded program. PUTT calls upon DMAS to act in the interest of transparency by releasing the report’s findings immediately.
A similar report this summer in Ohio, which found taxpayers were paying an estimated $225 million to PBMs over and above the cost of Medicaid-sponsored prescriptions led to the recall of PBM contracts in that state. Reports from independent pharmacists in Arkansas and Pennsylvania led to investigations by the state’s attorney general and auditor general respectively. The $1.5 million fine assessed by the State of Kentucky for 454 reimbursement violations and 38 violations related to providing inconsistent or inaccurate information to the state’s Department of Insurance point to signs that PBMs act not in the interest of patients and taxpayers, but in their own interest.
Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) members are concerned by recent reports that the Department of Justice will not challenge the upcoming CVS Aetna merger and call on consumers, patients, healthcare providers and taxpayers to stand with us in vigorously voicing opposition to this extremely troublesome acquisition.
Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency Endorses President Trump’s Plan for Drug Pricing Reform and Promise to “Put American Patients First”
Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) welcomes and enthusiastically endorses President Trump’s plan for prescription drug pricing reform.
Putt Calls Out Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for Misinformed Statements About Independent Pharmacy During National Small Business Week
Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) is calling on Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner to reconsider his statement earlier this week at an event ...