American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc. (APCI) expressed appreciation for the House of Representatives’ passage of the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act of 2023, emphasizing its positive impact on prescription drug pricing. APCI, representing pharmacies across the nation, lauded the bipartisan support for the bill, which addresses several issues related to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and is seen as a crucial step toward ensuring affordable medications for patients.
The Lower Costs, More Transparency Act aims to put an end to the controversial practice of “spread pricing” in Medicaid, a practice where PBMs charge Medicaid plans more for medications than what they reimburse pharmacies. This bill received overwhelming support in the House, passing by a margin of 320-71. The legislation will now move to the U.S. Senate for further consideration.
CEO Tim Hamrick highlighted the significance of the House vote, calling the bill an excellent first step toward achieving meaningful PBM reform. He expressed APCI’s pleasure with the bipartisan manner in which the bill passed, showcasing the ability of legislators to collaborate across party lines for the benefit of patients nationwide.
“While this is a significant achievement, we recognize that more comprehensive PBM reform is needed,” said Hamrick. “APCI remains committed to working with lawmakers to address the challenges posed by PBMs and to further enhance transparency in the pharmaceutical supply chain.”
Greg Reybold, APCI’s Vice President of Healthcare Policy and General Counsel, echoed Hamrick’s sentiments, emphasizing the need for continued efforts in PBM reform. Reybold highlighted the longstanding influence of PBMs on prescription drug pricing and commended the more than 40 bills pending in Congress that seek to address their unfair practices.
“PBMs have operated with limited regulation for years, impacting the entire prescription drug system,” said Reybold. “The passage of the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act is a significant milestone, and we look forward to collaborating with Congress in the upcoming weeks and months to translate this progress into concrete regulations. It’s time to ensure that PBMs are subject to meaningful federal action for the benefit of patients and pharmacies alike.”
As the Lower Costs, More Transparency Act progresses to the Senate, APCI remains actively engaged in advocating for additional reforms to create a fair and transparent pharmaceutical landscape for all stakeholders involved. SEE: Drug Prices in the U.S. Compared to Other Countries (UK, Canada, and Australia)