March 24, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) — Today, America’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) released a unified industry statement and set of principles on patient access to prescription drugs during the coronavirus outbreak. The principles set forth by PBMs take into consideration the need for patients to have the appropriate access to prescribed medications as well as avoiding potential drug shortages.

“As the nation works to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, PBMs are working to help the American people access the prescribed medications they need to stay healthy,” said PCMA President and CEO JC Scott.

Statement on COVID-19 from America’s Pharmacy Benefit Managers:

“During this public health emergency, PBMs are committed to helping the patients we serve practice social distancing and stay at home safely with convenient, reliable access to their needed prescription drugs. As patients evaluate their prescription drug needs, we are providing clinical services and other supports, and encourage patients to consult government guidance and, as needed, their health care providers. All stakeholders in the prescription drug supply chain have an important role in balancing patient access and continuity of care now and avoiding drug shortages and supply disruptions in the future.”

PBMs promote the following principles for enabling patient access and managing against supply chain disruptions:

  • PBMs, other drug supply chain stakeholders and federal, state, and local government partners should work together to sustain access to care for patients and prevent drug shortages.
  • PBMs recommend multiple approaches be made available that ensure patients have access to their prescription drugs now and in the days ahead, by balancing convenient, reliable access – such as home delivery and additional supply on hand – with the potential for drug shortages.
  • PBMs recommend guidance from federal, state, and local government agencies that balances patients’ need to stay at home, the clinical appropriateness of supply for any given drug, and the need to prevent future drug shortages.

Visit PCMA’s website for details on PBMs’ response to COVID-19.