WASHINGTON (July 11, 2019) – Mark Blum, executive director of America’s Agenda, a non-profit health care coalition focused on assuring that every American has affordable access to high-quality health care, issued the following statement:
“The Trump Administration’s proposed rule to improve the rebate system in Medicare Part D would have been a first step in the right direction of making prescription medicines more affordable for working Americans. The Administration’s withdrawal of its proposed rule transfers the responsibility for leadership in addressing the role of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in driving prescription drug cost growth squarely onto state governments. State government leaders will need to accept that responsibility to reduce the strain on fiscal budgets and help their citizens better afford prescription medicines they need.
“Our opaque prescription drug pricing system passes the buck to working Americans who can least afford it. We need bold solutions that produce meaningful cost savings now. Fortunately, this is possible, and there are effective approaches that some states have already embraced. One example is the $1.6 billion in savings that the State of New Jersey achieved as a result of a competitive, technology-driven auction process for contracting with PBMs.
“If they have the political will, states have the tools, technologies, and know-how to return the value to patients and working families that PBMs are currently diverting into their own profits.
“For any governor or state policymaker looking to hold PBMs accountable, now is the time to lead. The window is open for states to step up, embrace a truly unique opportunity to save money for taxpayers, and put the interests of their citizens first.”
America's Agenda is a national health care alliance that brings together labor unions, businesses, health care providers, and government leaders who share a common commitment to our mission of winning guaranteed access to affordable, high quality health care for every American.
Emma Hurley Palmer