Anderson: 'Swift and total reform is necessary'
ARLINGTON, Va. – National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS) President and CEO Steven Anderson issued the following statement Thursday about the launch of a Congressional investigation regarding the practices and tactics of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), prescription-drug middlemen:
“NACDS praises the U.S. House Oversight and Accountability Committee for launching – in the Committee’s words – an ‘investigation into [PBMs’] tactics that are harming patient care and increasing costs for consumers.’”
Anderson continued: “’PBMs are best described as ‘pharmaceutical benefit manipulators’ and their tactics that harm patients, employers, pharmacies, and others need to be exposed and stopped. For the well-being of all Americans, Chairman James Comer (R-KY) and the Committee will contribute significantly and meaningfully to the bipartisan push to do just that.
“This investigation needs to focus on prying out the data and the details that will further expose the path to truly comprehensive, effective, and lasting PBM reform. They need to ask the right questions and make sure they get the truthful answers. Just as important, the investigation must maintain a wide eye toward anticipating what the PBMs will do next to work around any reforms in an attempt to sustain their profits at the expense of Americans. This extreme problem gets worse with each passing day and swift and total reform is necessary.
“Pharmaceutical benefit manipulators are hired by health insurance plans and others to negotiate lower drug prices. The problem is that they pocket billions while forcing patients to pay more for their medicines, while limiting patients’ ability to choose their pharmacy, while restricting access to the medicines prescribed for patients, and while crushing all pharmacies, including rural and urban.
“NACDS looks forward to working with the Committee and looks forward to continued work with the other leaders in Congress who are addressing the tactics and the damaging effects of pharmaceutical benefit manipulators. NACDS members were on Capitol Hill this week for this very purpose and we will be there consistently to ensure this job gets done and done completely for the American people.”
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