This bill brings much-needed scrutiny to PBM business practices and their effect on the cost of prescription drugs.
March 9, 2021
The Honorable Marsha Blackburn
Senator from Tennessee
357 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
The Honorable Mike Braun
Senator from Indiana
374 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senators Blackburn and Braun,
On behalf of the 2.36 million members of AMAC – Association of Mature American Citizens, I write to offer our support for S. 298, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Accountability Study Act of 2021.
Many of AMAC’s members live on fixed incomes and have long expressed their concern over the high cost of their prescription medications. While many of our members are familiar with the names of pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) organizations, most do not fully understand their role in the outpatient prescription drug supply chain. For example, most AMAC members are unfamiliar with the complex, secretive contracts PBMs have in place with drug manufacturers and payers, nor do they know exactly how the rebates these manufacturers pay PBMs negatively influence the list cost of prescription drugs.
AMAC has been working for years to expose the business practices of these drug middlemen and is encouraged to see legislation like S. 298 that demands greater transparency for pharmacy benefit managers. Considering a recent Senate investigation that found that PBM preferential tactics discouraged lower insulin prices, your bill requires the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to submit a report on PBMs to the Senate Finance Committee and HELP Committee which will investigate PBMS and provide recommendations for lowering the cost of prescription drugs.
The GAO Study would report on matters including competitive issues among PBMs; rebate and fee practices; formulary structures; prior authorization and approval times; and the use of spread pricing by PBMs. All of these are necessary components for the transparency your bill seeks.
Thank you, Senators Blackburn and Braun, for legislation that is long overdue to hold pharmacy benefit managers accountable for their business practices. AMAC is a firm believer that PBM transparency equals lower drug costs and is pleased to offer our association’s full support for S. 298, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Accountability Study Act of 2021.
President, AMAC Action
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