The “Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act” Does Too Little to Bring Transparency and Accountability to the Prescription Drug Market

WASHINGTON, DC, March 22, 2023 –  In a letter sent yesterday to the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) urged the members to vote no on the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act (PBMTA, S. 127), legislation that fails to include employer-focused, comprehensive solutions that would bring clarity and responsibility to the prescription drug supply chain. 

“Legislation that the Senate Commerce Committee has developed allows pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to continue their current practices that prevent employers from ensuring that patients get the best deal on prescription drugs,” said James Gelfand, President of ERIC. “PBMTA does little to benefit employers, the primary customers of PBMs, and ERIC believes that PBMs should be held to the same standards that employers are, to do right by our employees and their families.” 

Specifically, ERIC recommended to the Committee the following changes to the legislation prior to the markup: 

  • Hold PBMs to the same standard as employers – require that PBMs act in the best interest of group health plans and their beneficiaries; 
  • Provide comprehensive transparency measures that would allow an employer to see how a PBM is spending the employer’s and patients’ money; 
  • Bring transparency to agreements between PBMs and pharmaceutical manufacturers;  
  • Protect ERISA preemption; 
  • Ensure Government Accountability Office (GAO) studies are not biased toward “point-of-sale rebates” that inflate health insurance costs; 
  • Apply reasonable limitations on “spread pricing” and PBM-owned pharmacies; and 
  • Outlaw direct payments related to drug formulary placements. 

While ERIC does not support the bill, the organization looks forward to working on other effective, bipartisan solutions to implement PBM transparency, accountability, and reform. 

Click HERE to read the letter to Senate Commerce Committee members. 


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About The ERISA Industry Committee
ERIC is a national advocacy organization that exclusively represents large employers that provide health, retirement, paid leave, and other benefits to their nationwide workforces. With member companies that are leaders in every sector of the economy, ERIC advocates on the federal, state, and local levels for policies that promote flexibility and uniformity in the administration of their employee benefit plans.