(Washington, DC) — The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) issued the following statement today in response to the National Community Pharmacists Association’s (NCPA) recent use of an unrelated AARP report on drug manufacturer prices as an excuse to attack America’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs):

“Despite recent press revelations of its ‘top secret’ lobbying campaign to maintain the confidentiality of its own Medicaid pricing information, the independent drugstore lobby continues to demand more ‘transparency’ for others in the pharmacy supply chain, most notably PBMs.

“Unlike independent drugstores, PBMs are hired by payers to drive down prescription costs, not maximize reimbursements. Proven PBM tools — including incentivizing the use of generic medications — have helped result in the Medicare Part D program costing $373 billion, a 41 percent drop from the initial cost estimate of $634 billion for 2004-2013.

“By demanding more transparency for others and less for themselves, NCPA’s ‘disclosure double standard’ campaign puts its Congressional and retail pharmacy allies in the embarrassing role of attacking and defending the same policy, depending on whether it applies to themselves or other members of the pharmacy supply chain.

“Though NCPA sidesteps the fact that the federal ‘transparency’ law already applies to PBMs — but not independent retailers — an interesting irony remains: independent drugstores are themselves the least ‘transparent’ part of today’s pharmacy supply chain. Their unwise, high-profile ‘disclosure double standard’ strategy is largely responsible for Washington’s growing interest in more retail transparency in Medicaid and other programs.”