July 11, 2019

(Washington, D.C.) — The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) released the following statement on today’s hearing in the Massachusetts House Committee on Post Audit and Oversight:

“We applaud Massachusetts legislators for examining prescription drug pricing and share the objective of reducing drug costs. Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) advocate on behalf of Massachusetts consumers and health plan sponsors by negotiating with drug manufacturers and drugstores to keep prescription drugs accessible and affordable.

Unfortunately, a recent report issued by the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) unfairly characterizes PBMs while not addressing the real cause of prescription drugs: the prices set solely by drug manufacturers.

In fact, a new analysis by Visante that examines the commission’s report found a multitude of errors and inaccuracies. For example, the HPC report analyzes only a small number of prescription drugs, neglecting to include data on a larger set of drugs that would have resulted in findings opposite of the report’s conclusions.

In addition, the HPC report concludes that additional transparency for health plan sponsors is needed, but ignores the fact plan sponsors already choose the type of contracts that best fit the clinical needs of their enrollees.

PBMs support transparency for patients and their providers, policymakers, employers, unions, and other health plan sponsors so they can make informed decisions that lead to optimal health outcomes and lower costs. Greater transparency among all players in the drug supply chain, including drug manufacturers and wholesalers, is an important step for understanding the root causes of high drug prices.

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

Read PCMA’s letter to the committee on the HPC report.