Health Care

Policy and Legal

NAM Echoes Senators’ PBM-Reform Call

Pharmacy benefit managers—entities that increase health care costs for both manufacturers and manufacturing workers—are long overdue for reform, the NAM said yesterday.

What’s going on: Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID) announced at a Thursday press conference that they will ask Senate leadership to include in a government funding bill at the end of March legislation to rein in PBMs.

  • The NAM, which has been vocal for years about the need for PBM reform , immediately joined the senators’ call for action.
  • “Manufacturers stand with Chairman Wyden and Ranking Member Crapo in their calls for PBM reform as soon as possible,” said NAM Managing Vice President of Policy Chris Netram. “Manufacturers are committed to providing health benefits—with 93% of manufacturing workers eligible for employer-sponsored health insurance—even as PBMs continue to drive an increase in health care costs.”

Why it’s important: PBMs make health care more expensive for manufacturers and manufacturing workers by putting upward pressure on the list prices of medicines. Additionally, the three largest PBMs control 80% of the market, giving them tremendous leverage when negotiating contracts with manufacturing employers.

  • What’s more, they operate with very little federal oversight and offer minimal transparency into their business models.

What should be done: An overhaul of the PBM framework should include solutions that effectively address rebate, fee and contract structures.

  • “PBM reform, including in the commercial health insurance market, must increase transparency, ensure PBMs do not pocket manufacturer rebates and delink PBM compensation from the list price of medications,” said Netram.
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