(Washington, DC) —As health care costs continue to spike, the Mississippi drugstore lobby is pushing for laws and regulations that undermine the ability of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to save Mississippi consumers, businesses, unions, and Medicare seniors $19.4 billion in prescription drug costs – a 35 percent savings – over the next decade, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said today.
“PBMs will save Mississippi consumers, businesses, unions, and seniors more than $19 billion over the next decade,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. “However, the special interest agenda promoted by the Mississippi drugstore lobby would undermine these savings and raise costs for every other small business in the state.”
PBMs improve safety and savings in several ways:
- Negotiating Discounts from Drugstores and Drug Manufacturers
- Offering Home Delivery of Medicines
- Encouraging Use of Generics and Less Expensive Brands
- Using Cutting-Edge Tools to Improve Adherence
- Improving Quality and Safety
Surveys show that consumers are highly satisfied with their prescription drug benefits and the variety of drugs and drugstores available while small businesses oppose special interest regulations that empower drugstores to raise prescription drug costs.
A U.S. News & World Report on pharmacists’ earnings potential also runs counter to claims that Mississippi independent drugstores need mandates to protect them from competition. Key points from the “Best Jobs of 2012” report include:
- The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 25.4 percent employment growth for pharmacists between 2010 and 2020, with the field adding 69,700 new jobs.
- According to the U.S. Labor Department, the median annual salary for a pharmacist was $113,390 in 2011.