Pharmacy Benefit Managers Support Increased Transparency in Prescription Drug Supply Chain

(Washington, D.C.) — As the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health examines ways to bring more transparency to prescription drug prices, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) is confirming its principles on transparency in the prescription drug supply chain.

PCMA commends the Subcommittee’s work to bring more transparency to drug prices. America’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) support greater transparency among all players in the drug supply chain, including drug manufacturers and wholesalers, in order to empower consumers, providers, and government programs to make informed decisions that lead to optimal health outcomes.

PBMs are actively transparent:

  • Providing real-time benefits tools, so physicians and patients know, at the point of prescribing, what drugs are on formulary and patient’s cost-sharing.
  • Providing information to clients on all contract terms, including how PBMs are paid for their services and negotiated rebates.
  • Providing government regulators, such as CMS for Medicare Part D, information on price concessions, costs, and service fees.

Further, PBMs support providing Part D prescription drug event data and rebate data to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission.

“It’s important to reiterate our standing principles and dispel the notion that PBMs lack transparency. PBMs support and practice transparency that empowers patients, their providers, plan sponsors, and policymakers, so that there is informed decision-making that can lead to lower prescription drug costs,” said JC Scott, President and CEO, PCMA. “What we don’t support are measures that would empower drug companies to raise costs.”

Specifically, on H.R. 2115, the “Public Disclosure of Drug Discounts Act,” it is important to ensure that drug manufacturers cannot obtain competitive pricing. In numerous examinations of the issue, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has stated that public disclosure of PBM-negotiated price concessions can result in tacit collusion among drug manufacturers, leading to lower discounts, or rebates, and higher drug costs.

Regarding H.R. 2376, the “Prescription Pricing for People Act of 2019,” PBMs welcome an examination by the FTC into competition in the prescription drug supply chain that includes other entities, including prescription drug wholesalers and drug manufacturers. Previous FTC studies have found a competitive PBM industry that lowers drug costs for consumers.

We look forward to working with Congress and the Administration to bring more transparency to the prescription drug supply chain.