ALEXANDRIA, Va. (May 4, 2021) — The National Community Pharmacists Association is supporting legislation reintroduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) requiring the Federal Trade Commission to study the role and recent merger activity of pharmacy benefit managers, including possible anticompetitive behavior and how PBM actions are affecting patients and pharmacies. NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA says the Prescription Pricing for the People Act (S.1388) would bring more transparency into health care and support Congress as it crafts evidence-based solutions to address high drug costs and patient challenges in accessing needed health care services from the pharmacy of their choice.
“Momentum is growing to reform and rethink antitrust enforcement in the United States,” said Hoey. “Independent pharmacists have been pressing for this for many years. There’s a severe lack of competition in the PBM market, and it is driving up the cost of prescription drugs. Unfortunately, patients, employers, and small business pharmacies suffer as this consolidation has so far gone largely unchecked by regulators and been permitted to grow.
“We’re grateful to Sens. Grassley and Cantwell for working to check this consolidation and pushing for FTC review of anticompetitive PBM practices. Modernizing this system will provide relief to patients on drug costs and protect their ability to access the pharmacy they prefer. For the sake of consumers and small businesses, reforms by policymakers can’t come soon enough.”
The Prescription Pricing for the People Act is cosponsored by Sens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.), and Joni Ernst (R-Iowa).
Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing over 21,000 pharmacies that employ approximately 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.ncpa.org.