Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition Echoes Support for National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ PBM Reform Campaign, Urges Congress to Hold PBMs Accountable

DATE: November 1, 2023

The Senior Care Pharmacy Coalition (SCPC), the leading national voice for the long-term care pharmacy community, released a statement today supporting the National Association of Chain Drug Stores’ (NACDS) new ad campaign calling for PBM reform.

“We echo NACDS’ support for meaningful legislative reforms that will rein in PBMs and protect pharmacies and the patients we serve across the country,” said Alan Rosenbloom, President and CEO of SCPC. “Pharmacists today face a healthcare system in which just three big PBMs and their health insurer partners account for more than 80 percent of the prescription drug market. This is putting many independent pharmacies at risk while increasing out-of-pocket costs for patients. Like NACDS, we urge Congress to act swiftly and enact policies that hold PBMs accountable. It’s time end to the harmful practices that put PBM profits ahead of patients.”

SCPC also expressed support for the pharmacy staff walkouts currently taking place at CVS and Walgreens locations across the country.

“CVS Health is an example of what’s wrong with our healthcare system and how it’s putting patients and pharmacies at risk. Despite being one of the highest-revenue corporations in the United States, CVS still refuses to pay its pharmacy staff enough to stop employees from walking out in protest,” added Rosenbloom. “CVS’ PBM business, Caremark, which has been allowed to operate with little oversight for far too long, is the crux of the problem. Caremark regularly pays its own pharmacies more than unaffiliated pharmacies for the same drugs, yet refuses to staff those same pharmacies to minimize risk to patients and staff burnout.  If we want to restore convenient patient access to the pharmacy services they need, we must address the unfair practices of healthcare mega conglomerates like CVS once and for all.”

To that end, SCPC believes that Congress should enact PBM reforms this year, which must:

-Prevent companies like CVS from reimbursing their own affiliated pharmacies at higher rates than unaffiliated pharmacies.

-Eliminate PBM-mandated pharmacy gag clauses that prevent pharmacies from speaking directly with payers, a process proven to improve patient outcomes and reduce overall health care spending.

-Limit PBM fees to pharmacies to flat dollar amounts unrelated to volume or drug price and set at fair market value for services actually rendered.

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly for helping to address the cost of prescriptions, SCPC supports delinking all PBM compensation from the cost of medications. This would prevent PBMs from pocketing and profiting from ever-increasing list prices and rebates and require them to disclose why they classify certain medications as specialty drugs to prevent them from steering patients to PBM-affiliated specialty pharmacies.


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