A wide array of voices from across the country are calling on lawmakers to oppose recently reintroduced legislation, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act (S.127), which fundamentally misconstrues the role of pharmacy benefit companies, unfairly proposes to take away employers’ choice and flexibility in constructing their pharmacy benefits, and undermines competition in the prescription drug marketplace, leading to higher drug costs for patients
S.127 also proposes to expand the power, authority, and jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with an unprecedented mandate to pick winners and losers in the health care market. Such an approach would set a precedent for allowing the FTC to regulate prices and dictate the terms of common business practices in any industry.
Read what community leaders from around the nation are saying:
Brian Bowden, chairman, Gregg County, TX Republican Party:
“Unfortunately, some leaders in Washington are threatening our economic prosperity with legislation that will overextend the regulatory powers of the Federal Trade Commission and allow the agency to oversee the operations of private businesses. The Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act was created under the false context that it would save families money on prescription drugs, but in reality, it’s just another power ploy by the FTC and will actually raise prescription drug costs… I am certain legislators representing Texas in Washington will do the right thing for our families and businesses by opposing the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act.” (Texans Support Free Market — Not Government Overregulation, Longview News-Journal, 3/3/23)
Ilene Newville, owner, Northland Transmission:
“As a small business owner proudly serving northwestern Wisconsin, we need the senator’s help by supporting small businesses and rejecting big drug companies’ blame game designed to shift attention away from their responsibility and boost their own profits by opposing legislation that would increase prescription drug costs. S. 127, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act, is part-and-parcel with big drug companies’ approach and is designed to undermine the pharmacy benefits that small businesses rely on to access affordable health care coverage for their employees. Our pharmacy benefits save small businesses an average of more than $600 per employee on prescription drug costs each year.” (Act Would Harm Small Businesses, The Leader-Telegram, 3/10/23)
Jim Lane, former three-term mayor of Scottsdale, Arizona:
“S.127, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act does just the opposite of encouraging competition by allowing the FTC to diminish the competitive environment of the prescription drug supply chain, which will undoubtedly increase costs for American patients, small businesses and families… Instead of encouraging competition, S. 127 sets out to eliminate competition by limiting pharmacy benefits, which are critical players who help make the prescription supply chain more competitive and negotiates on behalf of the American people. The pharmacy benefits S. 127 sets out to eliminate this important guardrail to high drug prices, which save patients more than $1,000 per person annually.” (Lawmakers Must Stop Biden’s FTC To Save Our Free Market, Scottsdale Progress, 2/25/23)
Pamela Larkin, senior advocate:
“Pharmacy benefits help millions of Americans, including seniors, save money every day on prescription drugs. These savings are critical for our elderly population and should be safeguarded by Minnesota’s lawmakers in Washington, D.C. Our leaders should oppose legislation like Senate Bill 127, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act, that targets these pharmacy benefits and risks increasing prescription drug costs — at a time when these costs are already too high. As someone who has worked with seniors every day, I have seen the challenges the aging population has in affording the prescriptions they continually need to stay healthy. Any bill that will increase these costs would have detrimental effects on our most vulnerable population.” (Letter: Save Seniors From Increased Prescription Drug Costs, Hometown Source, 3/17/23)
Lee Mills, committeeman, TNGOP District 32:
“Unfortunately, recent legislation in Washington threatens to allow the government to oversee how our private businesses and Tennesseans can function… S. 127, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act will allow Khan’s FTC to dictate who the winners and losers are in the drug supply chain. Unfortunately, the bill fails to address the actual driver of high drug prices, but targets only one specific entity proven to save Americans money – Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs)…Competition is always the correct answer regarding the economy, not misguided government intervention.” (President Biden Should Answer For Federal Trade Commission’s Misguided Overreach, Commercial Appeal, 2/28/23)
Shawntell Kroese, executive, Werner Transportation:
“The legislation [S. 127] would also open the door to future abuses of American businesses and government intervention on the market by the FTC… I hope Nebraska’s leaders will prevent an increase in prescription drug costs and protect market forces, competition and innovation in our economy and health care system by rejecting this misguided proposal in Washington.” (Protect Market Forces, Omaha World-Herald, 2/28/23)
Merle Flowers, businessman and former Mississippi state Senator:
“The bill encourages the FTC to operate outside the mission of the agency to target the business and proprietary data of pharmacy benefit companies to serve a predetermined and misplaced bias against this industry. In addition…the legislation would set a precedent potentially jeopardizing any industry with which the federal agency determines it should use the heavy hand of government to harass and further regulate… The result of this anti-competitive approach would be higher drug costs and a lost opportunity to address the cause of the problem: patent abuse that prevents more competition and keeps market forces from working properly to lower prices.” (Unchecked FTC Policy Would Hamper Prescription Drug Competition, Increase Costs, Daily Journal, 2/17/23)
Mary Lou Isom, retired rancher and political activist in Nebraska:
“Unfortunately, recent legislation in Washington threatens our open market and will inevitably cost Americans more for prescription drugs… S. 127 will raise prescription drug costs for Nebraska patients and families. So many of us rely on pharmacy benefits to help secure savings, and this would undermine these benefits… Nebraskans are counting on our legislators in Washington to oppose S. 127 and protect our sacred enterprise that works best when we allow natural, free market forces to work to drive down costs.” (Letter to the Editor: Bill Would Raise Prescription Drug Costs, The North Platte Telegraph, 3/1/23)
Bobby Eberle, chairman, Fort Bend County Republican Party:
“Senator Cruz goes on to say, “It seems the FTC has become a ‘catch-all’ agency that Congress and the White House can use to regulate complex markets like prescription drugs or gas prices even when those markets might be reflecting problems caused by other government policies.” Our senator is 100 percent right. S. 127 is meant to further expand the authority of the…FTC and the federal government to dictate rules of the road in health care under the false guise of addressing high prescription drug costs…Who are the beneficiaries of such a disastrous policy? Big drug companies would stand to gain from the loss of pharmacy benefits that are the only deterrent to limitless prescription drug price increases.” (Congress Can’t Empower FTC To Raise Drug Costs, Fort Bend Independent, 3/15/23.
Read PCMA’s latest statement on S. 127 HERE.
Learn more about public policy solutions that would promote competition in the prescription drug market and effectively lower prices for patients HERE.
Learn more about the role and value of pharmacy benefit companies HERE.
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