PCMA Statement On House Vote Of H.R. 5378

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) released the following statement on the U.S. House of Representatives’ vote on the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act.

“America’s pharmacy benefit companies are extremely disappointed by passage of H.R. 5378 by the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation undermines the work of PBMs to reduce prescription drug costs for patients and employers.

“The bill’s intrusion into private market contracting for pharmacy benefits undermines and weakens the ability of PBMs to offer health plans, employers, and unions the choice of the most cost-effective pharmacy benefits to meet their needs.

“Furthermore, the legislation drastically fails to achieve the stated objective of lowering prescription drug costs. In fact, it will do the opposite by significantly raising costs for health plans and patients, while increasing profits for drug companies. Lowering drug costs simply cannot be achieved by focusing on PBMs, the only member of the supply chain working to lower drug costs, while ignoring the other actors, especially drug companies, which alone set and raise drug prices. The legislation also fails to address drug companies’ blatant abuse of the patent system to block competition from entering the market and reducing costs.

“To be clear, PBMs fully support transparency for health plans, employers, patients, and government programs. PBMs provide information and data to employers and government agencies that patients, their providers, plan sponsors, and policymakers need to make informed decisions about prescription drug products, coverage and costs.

“The transparency provisions in the legislation severely undermine the ability of pharmacy benefit companies to negotiate lower drug prices by publicly disclosing drug company price concessions, inviting drug companies to collude with their competitors to discount less deeply, and drive drug prices even higher.

“In addition to recent PBM business model innovations from large and small PBMs, an independent third-party survey recently found that the vast majority of employers (89%) who use a PBM describe their PBM contracts as ‘transparent,’ further negating any need whatsoever for the government to step in with unnecessary and costly mandates that take away benefit design choices and payment flexibility that employers value.

“Congress should acknowledge that the free market is working as evidenced by the concrete steps PBMs are taking to give employers more pharmacy benefit design choices and transparency – and not take Big Pharma’s bait and pass legislation that increases drug costs and Big Pharma profits.”


PCMA is the national association representing America’s pharmacy benefit companies. Pharmacy benefit companies are working every day to secure savings, enable better health outcomes, and support access to quality prescription drug coverage for more than 275 million patients. Learn more at www.pcmanet.org