Letter to the Editor: Kudos to Buddy Carter from Medicare patients

On behalf of Medicare patients in Georgia who rely on long term care (LTC) pharmacies for their prescription medication, I’d like to thank Congressman Buddy Carter, R-Ga., for advocating for increased transparency and fairness in prescription drug pricing.

LTC pharmacies that oversee the prescriptions for patients in skilled nursing, assisted living facilities and other long term care settings, are beholden to Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) – the middle men who oversee the pricing structure and reimbursement rate for most generic drugs dispensed by LTC pharmacies to Medicare beneficiaries under the Part D benefit.

Data demonstrates that the pricing methodologies used by these PBMs leads to arbitrary and inadequate reimbursement that puts independent LTC pharmacies and their patients at extreme risk — all while increasing profits for PBMs and the pharmacies they operate.

A pharmacist himself, Congressman Carter recently raised important questions about the pricing practices of PBMs at a Congressional hearing on U.S. Prescription drug pricing practices, during which he expressed concern about the current drug marketplace because it creates perverse incentives for PBMs to shut out independent pharmacies at the expense of the American public.

He further called for greater transparency in PBM practices.

Unfortunately, it comes down to the fact that these pricing practices by PBMs undermine the stability of independent LTC pharmacies, increasing the costs to taxpayers and ultimately jeopardizing quality patient care.

Please join me in thanking Congressman Carter for looking out for Georgia’s vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries and helping to ensure they have access to fairly priced medications.

ROBERT WARNOCK

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