CMS Report: PBM Tools Reduce Prescription Drug Costs

(Washington, D.C.) — The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) released the following statement on new National Health Expenditure (NHE) data by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) on prescription drug costs, showing that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) reduce drug costs in public programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

Specifically, the NHE report states PBMs “are estimated to have contributed to lower net prices for many prescription drugs in recent years and are expected to have dampened prescription drug spending growth in 2017.”

This is the second time this week the Trump administration has issued data confirming the value and savings PBMs deliver in public programs. Monday’s White House budget proposed greater use of PBM tools and highlighted the enormous cost of policies that undermine PBMs’ ability to negotiate discounts in Medicare Part D.

Specifically, the White House budget proposal noted that a policy requiring Part D plans and PBMs to use rebates to reduce point-of-sale costs instead of premiums would raise costs by $42.16 billion. This echoed previously released CMS data which showed such a proposal would also hand drugmakers a $29 billion windfall.

“This week the Administration released two different data sets showing PBMs reduce prescription drug costs and warning that policies which undermine PBM cost-saving tools raise costs. We look forward to working with the Administration to continue the Medicare Part D success story and explore ways to introduce more competition into bloated programs like Medicaid and Medicare Part B,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.