March 31, 2020

(Washington, D.C.) — As the nation’s health care system confronts the myriad of challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are working with all members of the prescription drug supply and payment chain to help patients obtain the medications they need during this public health crisis, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today.

“PBMs are taking real action and working with all members of the prescription drug supply and payment chain to help patients access needed prescription drugs during this global pandemic,” said PCMA President and CEO JC Scott.

PBMs are taking the following actions to work with pharmacies to promote patient access to their prescription drugs:

  • To help facilitate access to our nation’s nearly 70,000 retail pharmacies, PBMs are providing information to RxOpen to help promote consistent supply-chain information to stakeholders.
  • PBMs are providing home delivery of prescriptions at no additional costs and allowing pharmacies to serve their normal patients through home delivery.
  • PBMs are limiting routine pharmacy audits, unless required by law, or as a result of certain fraud, waste, and abuse investigations.
  • PBMs are temporarily waiving requirements for pharmacies to obtain proof-of-receipt signatures from patients, unless required by law.
  • To help mitigate transmission of the virus, PBMs are recommending that states, including their Boards of Pharmacy or Medicaid agencies, as appropriate, temporarily waive proof-of-receipt and signature delivery requirements.
  • PBMs are urging states to allow pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to work across state lines, work and supervise remotely when the technology allows, issue licensing waivers and expedite conditional approval for pharmacy technicians, waive pharmacy technician ratios, and designate pharmacy professionals as essential personnel.

In addition, members of the prescription drug supply and payment chain recently sent a letter to Vice President Mike Pence and Congress outlining a unified stance on balancing patient needs for prescription medications with efforts to avert potential drug shortages.

Along with PCMA, leading health care groups joined the effort, including: the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, America’s Health Insurance Plans, the Association for Accessible Medicines, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy, and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Click here to read the letter

Click here to learn more about how PBMs are helping patients and health plans