June 19, 2019
(Washington, D.C.) — Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO JC Scott released the following statement on the Senate Special Committee on Aging hearing, “The Complex Web of Prescription Drug Prices, Part III: Examining Agency Efforts to Further Competition and Increase Affordability:”
“We applaud the Senate Special Committee on Aging for holding today’s hearing examining ways to reduce prescription drug costs for consumers. We agree that policy changes are necessary to reduce drug costs, and that we all have a role to play in finding solutions.
The most effective way to lower prescription drug costs is through increased competition in the marketplace. PCMA supports a number of legislative and regulatory policies to increase competition and build on market-based tools in public programs and private health insurance. When real competition exists in the marketplace PBMs can most effectively negotiate with drug manufacturers to reduce drug costs.
Specifically, we commend the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its efforts to reduce prescription drug application backlogs, improve processes, and speed approvals. With additional congressional action to address pay-for-delay settlements, REMS abuses, and patent thickets, FDA’s efforts should enable Part D plans to use competition to drive additional savings for Medicare beneficiaries.
However, we are concerned the Administration’s proposed rebate rule will significantly increase taxpayer costs and beneficiary premiums while diminishing PBMs’ ability to effectively negotiate price concessions. A recent Congressional Budget Office analysis of the proposed rule found it will increase costs to taxpayers by $177 billion over 10 years – if PBMs’ ability to negotiate price concessions is limited.
In addition, there is potential for severe disruption to beneficiaries’ coverage and the Part D program if a final rule requires an entirely new infrastructure to administer discounts. The most obvious solution is for PBMs to utilize existing systems, data, and expertise to limit enrollee disruption, reduce costs to the government, and mitigate the impact on beneficiary premiums under a finalized rule.
We stand ready to work with Congress and the Administration to reduce list prices and costs to consumers.”