December 4, 2013
As the Oklahoma drugstore lobby launches new attacks seeking to undermine tools used by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to lower prescription drug costs, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) released a new ad campaign today defending the rights of employers to reduce wasteful pharmacy spending.
The ad notes that, employers think: “It’s wrong” for the Oklahoma drugstore lobby “to force Oklahomans to pay more for prescription drugs.”
“The agenda promoted by the Oklahoma drugstore lobby would enrich pharmacies by making every other business pay more for prescription drugs,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.
This special interest legislation (H.B. 2100) could increase prescription drug costs $1.7 billion for the state’s employers, seniors, state employee plans, and consumers.
“It’s the Oklahoma Drugstore Lobby vs. Oklahoma’s Employers in the Fight to Reduce Prescription Drug Costs”
The Oklahoma drugstore lobby agenda includes:
- New employer mandates that raise costs and reduce choices.
- Giving drugstores new powers to charge consumers more for prescription drugs.
- Forcing employers to pay more for prescription drugs.
The Federal Trade Commission examined similar Board of Pharmacy legislation and found it would make “collusion easier and increase prescription drug prices if the Pharmacy Board obtains and discloses PBMs competitively sensitive information to pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacists, and pharmacies.”
A recent report from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) also confirms that Oklahoma policymakers should avoid enacting laws that undermine employers’ ability to use PBM tools.
NCPA is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization that develops private, free-market alternatives to government regulation that rely on the strength of the competitive, entrepreneurial private sector. The NCPA report points out a number of regulations and laws that could increase prescription drug costs, including:
Barriers to Competition: State Boards of Pharmacy and Conflicts of Interest Background: The report highlights how some states are seeking to transfer regulatory authority of drug plans from the state’s insurance commissioner to the state’s Board of Pharmacy.
NCPA: “Because state pharmacy boards are controlled by pharmacists, giving them authority over drug plans creates conflicts of interest that could undermine drug plans’ ability to negotiate lower prices with pharmacy networks.”