April 3, 2018

(Washington, D.C.) — Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt released the following statement on the Medicare Part D final rule released yesterday by the Department of Health and Human Services:

“Two years ago drugmakers launched a campaign to deflect blame for their high prices onto health plans and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that negotiate discounts and rebates to reduce the cost of benefits.

Senior administration officials did not adopt their proposal which would have raised, not lowered costs for both seniors and taxpayers by up to $82 billion.  It would also have handed drugmakers a $29 billion windfall.

PBMs will continue offering the option of point-of-sale rebates in the commercial market, but mandating it across the board in Medicare Part D would have been costly and unworkable.

While PCMA is still reviewing the final rule, we support many of its provisions such as regulatory relief on plan options, allowing flexibility for Part D plan sponsors to promote lower cost generics and biosimilars, and implementation of a “lock-in” program to reduce opioid abuse through drugstore and prescriber shopping.

We look forward to continuing to work with CMS to find ways to improve benefits and reduce costs in Medicare Part D.”