PCMA Statement on National Health Expenditure Data

(Washington, D.C.) — The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) released the following statement on new National Health Expenditure (NHE) data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

The latest NHE survey shows that the retail prescription drug net price index declined overall by 1% in 2018, due in large part to PBM-negotiated rebates. Overall net spending on retail prescription drugs increased by 2.5%. The NHE data cites increased utilization and drug mix as the primary drivers for the modest increase in spending.

“The continued slow growth rate for retail prescription drug spending, and overall price decline, is further evidence that pharmacy benefit managers, PBMs, are part of the solution to reducing drug costs by increasing the use of generics and lower cost alternatives,” said PCMA President and CEO JC Scott. “While drug manufacturers set and raise prices for prescription drugs at extremely high rates, PBMs are holding spending in check by negotiating with drug manufacturers and drugstores and promoting lower-cost generics and more affordable treatment options.

We understand prescription drugs are unaffordable for some consumers, and PBMs look forward to working with policymakers on real solutions to increase access and affordability.”