May 14, 2019

(Washington, D.C.) – As independent drugstore lobbyists descend on Albany for their special interest lobby day, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) released the following statement:

“Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) advocate on behalf of New York’s consumers and health plan sponsors by negotiating with drug manufacturers and drugstores to keep prescription drugs accessible and affordable. While drugmakers alone have the power to set and raise prices, PBMs reduce prescription drug costs while also fairly compensating pharmacies for services they provide.

Conversely, the independent drugstore lobby’s agenda seeks to weaken PBM tools, add unnecessary regulation, and increase prescription drug costs for New Yorkers. A recent study outlined the potential cost impact of types of state legislation, supported by independent drugstores, which impact these cost-savings tools.

Most independent drugstores hire powerful Pharmacy Service Administrative Organizations (PSAOs) to collectively bargain on their behalf with PBMs and other payers. The contract provisions that PSAOs negotiate include PBM reimbursement rates, payment terms, and audits of pharmacies. In addition, PSAOs often act as wholesalers to pharmacies by selling them the medications they dispense.

In New York and nationwide, the number of independent pharmacies is increasing. Between 2010 and 2019, the independent pharmacies in New York grew from 2,185 to 2,813.

We stand ready to work with New York lawmakers to ensure that PBM-negotiated savings help consumers both through lower premiums and directly at the pharmacy.”

Click here to read more about prescription drug prices, PBMs, and pharmacies in New York.