February 25, 2019

(Washington, D.C.) — Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO JC Scott released the following statement on the Senate Finance Committee hearing, “Drug Pricing in America: A Prescription for Change, Part II:”

“We commend the Senate Finance Committee for holding this important hearing to shed light on drug company pricing practices, and share the committee’s goal of finding new solutions to address high drug list prices. Drugmakers alone have the power to set prices, and, contrary to the narrative promoted by some, their pricing strategies are unrelated to the rebates they negotiate with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). In fact, nearly 40 percent of branded pharmaceuticals are not rebated, yet prices on those drugs also continue to increase.

In addition, some manufacturers abuse the patent system to prevent generic competition, including biosimilar competition, from entering the marketplace.

PBMs are the primary advocate for consumers in the fight to lower prescription drug costs. By leveraging marketplace competition, PBMs effectively negotiate savings that are used to lower enrollee premiums and reduce costs for consumers at the pharmacy. Access to medical innovation is essential for America’s patients, but there is no access without affordability.

As Congress looks into drug pricing, we agree that more needs to be done. The key to reducing prescription drug costs is increasing and encouraging competition. PBMs are best able to negotiate when competition exists, and PCMA supports a number of legislative and regulatory policies to increase competition, reduce drug costs for consumers, and build on market-based tools in public programs and private health insurance.

We also stand ready to work with policymakers to ensure that PBM-negotiated savings help consumers both through lower premiums and directly at the pharmacy.”