Letters: PBMs need reform

For years, Congress has been given an opportunity to reform our health care system, and nothing productive has been done. With the Inflation Reduction Act and Build Back Better, multiple health care actions occurred, but none addressed the matters at hand: pharmacy benefit manager reform.

Pharmacy benefit managers—or PBMs—have been spiking drug prices for years, a phenomenon emboldened by a lack of transparency. Drug prices need to be [a] focus and at a value that is provided to customers but not be subject to price-setting. PBMs have been getting richer throughout the pandemic, and Congress must step up and enact reforms. Medications have become unaffordable and inaccessible, and Congress must do better and help the average middle-class citizen.

In 2020, lawsuits by the Department of Justice alleged that the largest PBMs overbilled their customers over $12.5 billion, and neither Congress nor the DOJ have punished these companies that hurt the working class. As executive vice president of the Indiana Pharmacy Association, I see time and time again the prices of drugs increasing, and this is hurting our patients’ pockets. Pharmacy benefit managers need reform, and I hope that our strong senators, Mike Braun and Todd Young, will lead the crusade against PBMs.

–Darren Covington
executive vice presidentIndiana Pharmacy Association

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