NCPA Stands with N.Y. Patients, Pharmacists after Cuomo Veto of PBM Regulation Bill

NCPA December 26, 2019

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Dec. 27, 2019) -

Despite aggressive advocacy efforts by state-based pharmacy organizations and individual New York pharmacists, Gov. Andrew Cuomo this week vetoed legislation to help to rein in costly pharmacy benefit manager practices by giving the superintendent of insurance licensing and regulatory authority over PBMs. This regulatory authority would put an end to the lack of transparency, oversight, and accountability that has allowed PBMs to engage in anticompetitive practices to the harm of the state's patients and small-business community pharmacies.

The National Community Pharmacists Association strongly supported the push for passage and enactment of the legislation, S6531. NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA issued the following statement after Gov. Cuomo vetoed the bill:

"Community pharmacists are very disappointed that Gov. Cuomo has rejected common-sense PBM reform, favoring out-of-state mega-corporations over all New York patients, payers, and pharmacies. As a result of this veto, PBMs will be able to continue operating as largely unregulated middlemen in the drug supply chain in New York, driving up health care costs for consumers and plan sponsors.

"Gov. Cuomo's decision reiterates the need for the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the Rutledge v. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association case and address the scope of states' authority to regulate PBMs. These pharmacy benefit middlemen are taking advantage of little regulatory oversight in states like New York, using anticompetitive tactics to drive pharmacies out of business and leaving patients with fewer accessible health care options. We urge the Supreme Court to consider this case and clarify the extent to which policymakers in New York and in other states can address the conduct of PBMs and their role in rising prescription drug costs."

NCPA represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 22,000 independent community pharmacies across the United States and 2,367 independent community pharmacies in New York. These New York pharmacies filled almost 140 million prescriptions last year, impacting the lives of millions of patients in the state.

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Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing 22,000 pharmacies that employ 250,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America's most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit www.ncpanet.org.

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