May 18, 2021

(Washington, D.C.) — As the House Committee on Oversight and Reform continues its investigation into drug manufacturers’ pricing strategies, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) is releasing new data on the impact of blocking competition for top-selling medications.

Brand-name drug manufacturers use “patent thickets” to block generic or biosimilar competition from entering the market. For Humira, Enbrel, Keytruda, Revlimid, and Imbruvica, five of the top-10 selling drugs in the U.S., a total of 584 patent applications have been filed after their initial Food and Drug Administration approval, leading to over $500 billion in additional net sales, according to new data from Visante.

“The key to reducing prescription drug costs is competition in the marketplace. Allowing more generics and biosimilars to market will allow pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) the ability to leverage competition among drug manufacturers to reduce costs for patients,” said PCMA President and CEO JC Scott. “Unfortunately, some drug manufacturers actively block competitors from entering the market, leading to monopolistic pricing and higher drug costs. When sufficient competition exists, PBMs have a proven track record of reducing costs for patients and health plan sponsors. We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to end drug manufacturers’ anti-competitive pricing tactics, increase competition, and help patients access affordable prescription drugs.”

In addition, PCMA recently issued a new three-part policy platform that includes proposals to increase competition, modernize Medicare Part D, and promote innovative ways to pay for high-cost drugs through value-based arrangements.

Please visit PCMA’s website to view:  “The Critical Path Forward: Rx Policies to Reduce Costs, Improve Access.

PCMA applauds the House Committee on Oversight and Reform for recognizing and examining the escalating prices for prescription drugs, which are solely set by brand-name drug manufacturers. PBMs are the only member of the prescription drug supply and payment chain working to reduce prescription drug costs for America’s patients and health plan sponsors.

###

PCMA is the national association representing America’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).  PBMs administer prescription drug plans for more than 266 million Americans who have health insurance from a variety of sponsors including:  commercial health plans, self-insured employer plans, union plans, Medicare Part D plans, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), state government employee plans, Medicaid plans, and others.