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.