New NCPA Resource Tells the Real Story of PBMs...and What Can Be Done About It

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 25, 2017) The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) has released a new resource that documents for policymakers, patients, and the media the discrepancy between what pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) say and the actual effect they have in driving up prescription drug prices in America. It's called The PBM Story: What They Say, What They Do, and What Can Be Done About It, and it is available now for download on the NCPA website.

The PBM Story offers an overview of how PBMs got their start, how they morphed into money-making machines, how exactly they make that money, and the documented effect they've had—and continue to have—in increasing prescription drug costs. It closes with a prescription for curing what ails health care in America, starting with three pieces of legislation pending in Congress that would prohibit the most egregious, anti-consumer PBM practices.

"We've created this resource to help our members tell the real story of PBMs," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "PBMs say they reduce drug prices and increase patient access, but the facts just don't bear that out. This new resource sets the record straight. In it, we've scrupulously documented the facts about how PBMs contribute to higher drug costs and the need to address this problem utilizing community pharmacists."

The release of The PBM Story coincides with NCPA's Congressional Pharmacy Fly-In, for which hundreds of independent community pharmacists are in Washington, D.C., this week to meet with members of Congress about solutions to the problem of rising prescription drug costs.

"We'll be discussing policy fixes that will bring greater transparency to drug pricing, greater accountability from those PBM middlemen, greater and more convenient medication access for patients, and greater health outcomes overall," said Hoey.

"This is not merely about assigning blame," he added. "It's about finding solutions, about fixing what's broken. That's what community pharmacists will be sharing with members of Congress: real solutions."