A Letter to the Editor–
Over 200 million Americans have their pharmacy benefits managed through a Pharmacy Benefit Manager, saving us approximately 25 percent on the cost of our prescription drugs vs. unmanaged drug costs. They are the only entities in the drug supply chain dedicated to lowering the cost and increasing the quality of our prescription drugs.
Pharmacy Benefit Managers:
• act as liaisons between health insurance providers and patients utilizing prescription drug coverage
• monitor a patients’ drug use for potential complications or adverse interactions
• assist with medication adherence, and
• negotiate drug rebates and discounts
Our legislators need to ensure Floridians have access to quality, affordable health care. It is true that the growing cost of prescription drugs is challenging Florida patients’ access to necessary medications, but I caution lawmakers that there is no need for unnecessary government intervention with our pharmacy benefit managers that will only limit competition and increase our costs.
I am hearing about some proposed ideas that would stifle innovation, impede quality improvement efforts, jeopardize patient safety, and harm patient health outcomes by putting government directly in the middle of private contracting with onerous and unnecessary government rules and duplicative regulations. Value-based, quality-driven contracting, that focuses on improving a patients’ health outcomes should be supported—not obstructed.
To avoid unintended consequences, I encourage lawmakers to work with all stakeholders to better address the issues around affordable access to prescription drugs, and urge them to maintain a consumer-friendly, non-intrusive approach to any policy related to pharmacy benefit managers.