NCPA: Poll Finds Voters Strongly Support Generic Drug Transparency Legislation

Voters across the political spectrum strongly support sunshine legislation that would increase transparency into generic prescription drug payments made by pharmacy benefit manager corporations.

PRESS RELEASE

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (July 28, 2015) —

Voters across the political spectrum

strongly support

sunshine legislation that would increase transparency into generic prescription drug payments made by pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) corporations, according to a national survey announced today by the

National Community Pharmacists Association

(NCPA).

The poll of 1,200 likely voters

was recently conducted by the respected national public opinion research firm

Penn Schoen Berland

(PSB). Voters were presented with a series of “pro” and “con” statements regarding generic drug payment transparency legislation.

After hearing the arguments of proponents and opponents of the legislation, 72 percent of likely voters support transparency legislation to require PBM corporations to update generic drug reimbursements to independent community pharmacies to reflect market conditions.

“The cost of some generic prescription drugs are skyrocketing 1,000 percent or more virtually overnight, but PBM corporations may wait a month or longer to update reimbursement rates for these drugs. They also don’t disclose their pricing methodology to pharmacies or health plan sponsors,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA.

“That means pharmacies may lose $100 or more every time they fill one of these prescriptions,” Hoey added. “That’s unsustainable for independent community pharmacies. Many have already had to pare back employee hours, cut employee positions or prescription drug services, or close their business altogether. We urge Congress and state legislatures to pass bipartisan bills to address this problem. In addition, Medicare officials should follow through on their regulation to ensure that these payment rates are updated.”

“Voters overwhelmingly support generic drug reimbursement transparency legislation. Across age, gender, and party lines voters agree that forcing community pharmacies to blindly fill prescriptions without knowing how much they will be reimbursed is wrong,” said Robert Green, a Principal at Penn Schoen Berland. “PBMs may claim that they are saving employers and the government money, but voters recognize that their practices may harm independent community pharmacies, their employees, and the millions of people that rely on community pharmacies for their prescription medications.”

Some progress has already been made at the federal and state levels in response to the concerns expressed by NCPA and its pharmacy allies. In Congress, Reps. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) and Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa) introduced bipartisan legislation, the MAC Transparency Act (H.R. 244), to expand transparency into generic drug payment rates set by PBM corporations and require them to be updated in the Medicare, TRICARE and federal employee health programs. Medicare officials have adopted a regulation increasing generic drug payment disclosure and updates in Medicare drug plans starting in the 2016 plan year. And 24 states have enacted legislation to address this problem at some level.

A

2015 survey

of 1,000 independent community pharmacists documented the widespread negative impact of failure of PBMs to update reimbursement payments to pharmacies to reflect market costs when generic medications have shot up in price and how the problem has become more severe in recent years. More recently, many community pharmacists

contacted NCPA

with examples of filling prescriptions for patients that resulted in losses of hundreds of dollars or more per prescription.