PCMA Supports Legislation to Direct the FTC to Examine the Entire Prescription Drug Supply and Payment Chain on Rx Costs

(Washington, D.C.) — The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) released the following statement on S. 1388, the “Prescription Drug Pricing for the People Act.”

PCMA, the trade association for America’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), today endorsed S. 1388, the “Prescription Drug Pricing for the People Act,” sponsored by Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA). The bipartisan legislation directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine anti-competitive practices within the entire pharmaceutical supply chain that may impact the cost of prescription drugs for consumers.

“We believe that policymakers need information that provides a guide to lower prescription drug costs for consumers, not an increase in revenue for drug manufacturers or pharmacies. An examination of prescription drug pricing that includes the entire prescription drug supply and payment chain will provide the information necessary to determine the factors increasing drug costs for consumers,” said President and CEO JC Scott.

“The fundamental role of PBMs is to lower drug costs, and we are confident that a comprehensive examination by the FTC will validate that role and ultimately conclude that drug manufacturer price setting is the root cause of high drug costs. The broad approach taken by S. 1388 will better reflect the revenue distribution and components across the supply and payment chain that go into the cost of prescription drugs.”

recent study by the USC Schaeffer Center shows that for every $100 spent in the prescription drug supply and payment chain on branded drugs, PBMs retain about $5 dollars for their services, compared with $15 captured by pharmacies and $58 by drug manufacturers. In addition, for every dollar spent on PBM services, PBMs save consumers and payers $10.

PBMs advocate for consumers to make prescription drugs more accessible and affordable. Importantly, a study by Visante demonstrates that PBMs reduce consumer drug costs by nearly $1,000 each year.

In addition, PCMA today submitted comments to the FTC in response to the agency’s proposed 6(b) study on PBMs.

Click here to read PCMA’s comments.


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.