PCMA Supports Bipartisan Effort to Increase Access To Generic Prescription Drugs for Consumers and Payors
April 12, 2007
Legislation Would Eliminate Loopholes Used by Brand-Name Drug Manufacturers to Delay Generics Entry into Market
(Washington, DC)—The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) has announced support for bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Trent Lott (R-Miss.) that would eliminate certain loopholes used by brand-name drug manufacturers to reduce consumers and payors’ access to generic prescription drugs.
“One of the key drivers in lowering prescription drug spend for small businesses, Fortune 500 employers, health insurers, labor unions, and Medicare is increased generic utilization,” said PCMA President Mark Merritt. “PCMA applauds the leadership demonstrated by Senators Stabenow and Lott on this important issue and supports this bipartisan legislation that puts forth sensible solutions to increasing consumers and payors’ access to generic prescription drugs.”
Specifically, “The Lower PRICED Drugs Act” seeks to do the following:
Reform the Citizen Petition (CP) process;
Reduce the delay in generic entry when patents are challenged in court; and
Provide an avenue for additional generic antibiotics through reforms.
Proven pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) tools, such as the increased use of generics, have been recognized in driving down overall prescription drug trend. A January 2007 report authored by researchers from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) found that prescription drug-spending growth rate in 2005 slowed to its lowest growth rate in over a decade, rising just 5.8 percent. The 5.8 percent prescription-drug growth rate in 2005 represents a 33 percent reduction from the 2004 growth rate of 8.6 percent and a dramatic decline from 1999 when drug trend was running at 18.2 percent. The authors cite several PBM tools as the reason for the slowdown in prescription drug spending, including the use of generic drugs.
PCMA is the national association representing America’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which lower the cost of prescription drugs for more than 200 million Americans with coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurers, labor unions, and Medicare Part D
Phil Blando, 202-207-3614
Charles Coté 202-207-3605