PCMA Statement on National Healthcare Expenditure Data Showing Lower Health Spending

(Washington, D.C.) — Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO JC Scott released the following statement on new National Health Expenditure (NHE) data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services:

“The latest National Healthcare Expenditure data from CMS offers yet another proof point that PBMs are doing our job, reducing prescription drug costs and increasing access to needed treatments for consumers and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. By negotiating with drugmakers and drugstores, and promoting lower-cost generics and more affordable treatment options, PBMs continue to be part of the solution to lowering health care costs.

Growth in retail prescription drug spending slowed in 2017, increasing just 0.4 percent to $333.4 billion, according to the NHE data. The same data show that patient out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs increased only 0.1%. In the report, CMS cites a shift to lower-cost generic drugs, and lower use of high-cost brand drugs as reasons for the decreased spending. The key to further reducing prescription drug costs is increased competition.”