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PCMA Statement on Congressional Committee Hearings on Drug Prices

WASHINGTON, March 7, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- As several congressional committees today examine prescription drug pricing issues Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO JC Scott released the following statement:

"We applaud the Senate Aging Committee, the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, and the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Commercial, and Administrative Law for holding today's hearings examining ways to reduce prescription drug costs for consumers. We agree that more needs to be done.

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) negotiate with drug manufacturers on behalf of consumers and health plan sponsors to keep prescription drugs accessible and affordable. The savings achieved by PBMs are used to lower consumers' premiums and reduce costs at the pharmacy.

Drugmakers alone have the power to set prices, and there is overwhelming evidence showing that their pricing strategies are unrelated to the rebates attained by PBMs. For example, in Medicare Part B, where PBMs don't receive rebates, prices on those drugs also continue to increase.

When real competition exists in the marketplace PBMs can most effectively negotiate with drugmakers to reduce costs. Unfortunately, some drug manufacturers stifle competition by abusing the patent system and Food and Drug Administration requirements to prevent generic competition, including biosimilar competition, from entering the marketplace.

PCMA supports a number of legislative and regulatory policies to increase competition, reduce drug costs for consumers, and build on market-based tools in public programs and private health insurance.

We stand ready to work with policymakers to ensure that PBM-negotiated savings help consumers both through lower premiums and directly at the pharmacy."

PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). PBMs administer prescription drug plans for more than 266 million Americans who have health insurance from a variety of sponsors including: commercial health plans, self-insured employer plans, union plans, Medicare Part D plans, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), state government employee plans, Medicaid plans, and others.

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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association