New Senate PBM bill is a powerful step forward in addressing abuse that harms patients
CAO strongly supports the Pharmacy Benefit Managers Transparency Act of 2022 to combat the destructive impact of PBMs
— Kashyap Patel, MD, COA President
WASHINGTON, DC, UNITED STATES, May 24, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — The Community Oncology Alliance (COA) is extremely pleased to see that Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), a ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, introduced the Pharmacy Benefits Manager Transparency Act of 2022.
The Pharmacy Benefit Managers Transparency Act 2022 is an important piece of legislation that seeks to prevent unfair and deceptive practices by PBMs. The uncontrolled consolidation of PBMs negatively impacts patients, physicians, employers, pharmacies, and our entire healthcare system. This has fueled drug costs for Americans and placed unacceptable barriers to accessible and affordable health care for patients.
CCO strongly supports the Pharmacy Benefit Managers Transparency Act of 2022 and commends Senators Cantwell and Grassley for taking this important step to curb the abusive PBM practices that are increasingly crippling our healthcare system. This bill will reduce health care costs for Americans while protecting independent pharmacy providers in Washington State and across the country. This would prohibit unfair pricing schemes; prohibit the arbitrary recovery of payments made to pharmacies; and require PBMs to report to the FTC how much money they make from distributed pricing and pharmacy fees.
“Senators Cantwell and Grassley’s legislation is a beacon of hope to finally address the abuse of PBM that harms my patients,” said Kashyap Patel, MD, CAO President, full-time medical oncologist and CEO. of Carolina Blood and Cancer Care in Rock Hill, South Carolina. “For too long, my patients have faced outrageous barriers to receiving the cancer care they need, deserve and pay for. I am extremely grateful to Senators Cantwell and Grassley for leading the charge against PBM’s abusive and secretive monopolies. COA will do everything in its power to make this legislation a reality.
“Senator Cantwell’s and Senator Grassley’s critical legislation will help end PBM’s abuses and bring much-needed transparency to the veil of secrecy in which they operate,” said COA Executive Director Ted Okon. “Top PBMs are using their outsized influence in the marketplace to delay and even deny patients their cancer drugs, with low payments to pharmacists driving drugstore closures and health care costs for all Americans. The leadership of the Senators is so critical and appreciated.
The Pharmacy Benefit Managers Transparency Act of 2022 follows a hearing on “Ensuring Fairness and Transparency in the Prescription Drug Market” held just three weeks ago by the Senate Committee of Commerce, Science, and Transportation and the Senate Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, Product Safety, and Data Security.
COA hopes that fixes for PBM abuses and monopolistic practices are on the horizon in Washington, DC and in states across the country. This includes the FTC’s recent PBM Business Practices Information Request on which the ACO submitted extensive comments. Additionally, earlier this month, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule eliminating the retroactive application of direct and indirect compensation (DIR) fees, beginning in 2024, requiring that they are reflected in the lowest negotiated price the patient pays. at the point of sale. Although far from a perfect rule, as the COA noted in its comments, it is a step in the right direction for reform. Meanwhile, other bills are before Congress to address PBM abuse, including HR 3258, the Rapid Access to Cancer Treatment (TACT) Act, Reps. Terri Sewell (AL-07 ) and Gus Bilirakis (FL-12), which would require cancer patients to receive their oral cancer drugs within 72 hours or be able to visit a licensed pharmacy of their choice.
About the Community Oncology Alliance: COA is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for community oncology practices and, more importantly, the patients they serve. COA is the only organization dedicated solely to community oncology where the majority of Americans with cancer are treated. The CCO’s mission is to ensure that cancer patients receive quality, affordable and accessible cancer care in their own community. More than 5,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each day, and deaths from the disease have steadily declined due to earlier detection, diagnosis, and treatment. Learn more at www.CommunityOncology.org. Follow the COA on Twitter at www.twitter.com/oncologyCOA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CommunityOncologyAlliance.
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