Massachusetts Legislation Increases Drug Costs

(Washington, D.C.) — Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt released the following statement on health reform legislation in Massachusetts:

“The proposed legislation under consideration threatens to increase prescription drug costs by forcing payers to publicize their negotiating and discounting strategies with competing drugmakers.

The Federal Trade Commission and economists have repeatedly stated these types of proposals would raise costs by giving drug companies inside information on their competitors’ negotiations with insurers.

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) support the kind of transparency that offers consumers and plan sponsors the information they need to make the choices that are right for them. However, this legislation would undermine the tools employers, unions, and public programs use to reduce prescription drug costs and could promote tacit collusion among drug manufacturers, resulting in higher drug costs.

PBMs typically reduce prescription drug costs by 30 percent for more than 266 million Americans enrolled in private and public health plans. PBMs use their substantial scale and expertise to negotiate aggressive rebates, discounts, and other price concessions from drug manufacturers and drugstores on prescription drugs.”