ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Nov. 17, 2021) – National Community Pharmacists Association member Jonathan Grider, PharmD, will be serving on an expert panel of witnesses for a congressional forum today focusing on the role of pharmacy benefit managers in increasing drug prices. Grider is a third-generation pharmacist and owner of Lake Cumberland Pharmacy, which has two locations in Russell Springs, Ky. His retail pharmacies serve a rural county with a population of roughly 15,000 people and limited access to care.
“As Congress reviews the rising costs of prescription drugs in America, we must evaluate all aspects that are driving up costs for patients,” said House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) when announcing the event. “Part of this review includes the role pharmacy benefit managers play in drug pricing and patient cost sharing. There are concerns PBMs may use their market power and role as middlemen to impact competition and drive up costs for Americans.”
“We’re grateful to Ranking Member Comer for holding this forum, inviting Jonathan to participate and share the independent pharmacy viewpoint, and keeping up the pressure,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. “Despite broad, bipartisan anger at PBMs for their contributions to higher prescription prices and limiting access to care, the federal government has been slow to regulate PBMs and increase transparency. It’s past time for real PBM reforms.”
Grider’s written testimony urges policymakers to rein in harmful PBM practices like steering patients to their own affiliated pharmacies and to pass policies that will reform pharmacy direct and indirect remuneration fees and prohibit spread pricing in Medicaid managed care.
The forum will be held today, Nov. 17 at 10:00 a.m. ET, and will be available online here.
Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing nearly 19,400 pharmacies that employ approximately 215,000 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.