Bay Area Lawmaker Takes On Pharmacy Benefit Managers

Bay News 9

December 17, 2019

State Rep. Jackie Toledo officially announced a new bill Tuesday that she said is designed to lower prescription drug costs while increasing pharmacy access to all patients.

  • State Rep. Toledo outlines Prescription Drug Cost Reduction Act
  • HB 961 is gaining bipartisan support
  • Toledo says pharmacy benefit managers are price gouging

Surrounded by pharmacy owners, patients, other state representatives, and even doctors, she outlined the Prescription Drug Cost Reduction Act.

“The PBMs would have to disclose how they are making their money, and it would prohibit the practice of spread pricing, which is charging someone more than what the drug actually costs, or reimbursing the pharmacies less than what the drug costs,” said Toledo, a Republican. “Plus, it bans the practice of of steering. So instead of you going to the PBM owned pharmacy, you have a choice.”

PBM stands for Pharmacy Benefit Managers. Toledo calls them the “middlemen.” She cited one example, saying in the case of an ADHD generic drug costing $20, she said a PBM required the pharmacies to charge $120.

“This is price gouging,” said Toledo. “This is just one example of how PBMs profit off of the backs of patients, pharmacies, and taxpayers, and this practice needs to stop.”  Continue Reading

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