“Finish the Fight” Campaign Recruits Patients for Payment Reform Push

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PBMs are Leeches: First video spot explains pharmacy benefit managers' role in higher drug prices.

The National Community Pharmacists Association today launched an all-out push for payment reform that educates patients on how pharmacy benefit managers are increasing prescription drug prices. The national campaign, featuring television, digital and print ads, aims to push Congress to enact PBM payment reform that has broad bipartisan support in both houses.

As part of the launch, NCPA also released the results of a new poll revealing widespread public concern over prescription drug costs and PBMs:

  • 84% of respondents agree that prescription drug costs are too high.
  • 73% are concerned about PBMs' impact on drug pricing.
  • 68% agree that PBMs are driving up drug costs.
  • 60% would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supported legislation addressing PBM abuses.
  • 62% support Congress having some oversight into the practices of PBMs to ensure fair pricing and transparency.

The campaign will target patients across the country with educational material explaining how PBMs make billions of dollars in profits by driving up the cost of prescriptions and putting local pharmacies out of business.

“Eighty percent of all prescriptions in the U.S. are controlled by just three pharmacy benefit managers, and they are all owned by or affiliated with the largest insurance companies in the country,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. “These are Fortune 15 corporations that behave like monopolies, and they are hurting patients with higher prescription costs and killing off small businesses at the average rate of one every day. There is broad bipartisan support in Congress for reform, and we are determined to get it passed before the end of the year.

“As the national poll shows, most patients don’t know very much about PBMs, despite that they have so much control over which prescription patients take and how much they pay for those drugs. So, while we want pharmacy teams to continue their advocacy, this campaign is aimed at patients. We want them to let their members of Congress know that PBM reforms must be enacted this year.”

NCPA’s new TV ad, PBM Leeches, is running in the Washington, D.C. market. Click here to watch. Its “Finish the Fight” digital ads also expose PBM Fat Cats.

More information about the campaign, including links to digital, print and television ads, is available here.

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