The National Community Pharmacists Association today launched a new campaign, “The Truth,” aimed at countering a big-money propaganda effort by the pharmacy benefit manager lobby to obscure their role in the high cost of drugs and the disappearance of neighborhood pharmacies.
“PBMs are the middlemen responsible for managing prescription drug benefits for the majority of Americans, with the top three of them controlling 76 percent of all prescription drug business,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. “They decide what medicines patients can take, where they must get them, and how much they pay. These mega-middlemen have merged with large insurance companies and now play a huge role in our health care system, and they manipulate that very system so they can operate largely behind the scenes and skirt scrutiny. PBMs serve their own corporate interests, not those of patients or taxpayers. But patients and taxpayers have too much at stake to allow them to continue operating with little or no regulation.”
NCPA’s “The Truth” campaign will expose these and other PBM tactics:
“While independent pharmacies have been essential businesses and health care providers, providing patient care throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the PBMs are seeking to protect their business model from reform, fuel their profits, and reward shareholders,” Hoey said. “They’re even launching misinformation campaigns attacking these essential pharmacies, trying to distract from the PBMs’ own impact on rising drug costs and decreased patient access to community pharmacies.
“We’re exposing ‘The Truth’ about PBMs at every level and at every opportunity, sounding the alarm and pushing policymakers to fix the prescription payment model,” Hoey added. “There must be greater transparency into PBMs and strong oversight to protect patients and small business pharmacies from unfair mega-middlemen business practices.”