October 8, 2013

A proposal being debated today in the House Committee on Health would increase prescription drug costs for Pennsylvania employers, the state employee health plan, unions, and consumers, said the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA). The proposal would prohibit public and private employers from using the tools that Medicare and Fortune 500 companies use to reduce prescription drug costs.

“This proposal is the drugstore lobby’s legislative ‘wish list’ and will force employers, unions, the state government, and consumers to pay more for prescription drugs,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.

The Pennsylvania drugstore lobby agenda would:

  • Impose new employer and union mandates that raise prescription drug costs and reduce choices;
  • Prohibit employers and unions from promoting the use of lower cost and more convenient mail-service pharmacies;
  • Prohibit the state’s health plan, employers and unions from using lower cost pharmacy options; and
  • Empower drugstores to charge consumers higher prices for drugs.

PBMs will save Pennsylvania consumers, employers, unions, and the state government $53.4 billion in prescription drug costs over the next decade. PBMs improve safety and savings in several ways, including:

  • Negotiating discounts from drugstores and drug manufacturers;
  • Offering home delivery of medicines;
  • Encouraging the use of generics and less expensive brands;
  • Using cutting-edge tools to improve medication adherence; and
  • Improving quality and safety.