This bill is sponsored by freshman Congresswoman Diana Harshbarger (TN-01). As a pharmacist, Rep. Harshbarger has firsthand knowledge of the need for transparency and competition among pharmacy benefit managers.
March 15, 2021
The Honorable Diana Harshbarger
1st Congressional District of Tennessee
167 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Congresswoman Harshbarger,
On behalf of the 2.37 million members of AMAC – Association of Mature American Citizens, including over 9,000 who reside in TN-01, I write to offer our support for H.R. 1829, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Accountability Study Act of 2021.
Many of AMAC’s members live on fixed incomes and have long expressed their concern over the high cost of their prescription medications. While many of our members are familiar with the names of pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) organizations, most do not fully understand their role in the outpatient prescription drug supply chain. For example, most AMAC members are unfamiliar with the complex, secretive contracts PBMs have in place with drug manufacturers and payers, nor do they know exactly how the rebates these manufacturers pay PBMs negatively influence the list cost of prescription drugs.
AMAC has been working for years to expose the business practices of these drug middlemen and is encouraged to see legislation like H.R. 1829 that demands greater transparency for pharmacy benefit managers. Considering a recent Senate investigation that found that PBM preferential tactics discouraged lower insulin prices, your bill would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to study the role PBMs play in the pharmaceutical supply chain and provide Congress with appropriate policy recommendations on how to increase transparency, improve competition, lower costs, and bolster efficiency in their operations.
The GAO Study would report on matters including competitive issues among PBMs; rebate and fee practices; formulary structures; prior authorization and approval times; and the use of spread pricing by PBMs. All of these are necessary components for the transparency your bill seeks.
Thank you, Congresswoman Harshbarger, for legislation that is long overdue to hold pharmacy benefit managers accountable for their business practices. AMAC is a firm believer that PBM transparency equals lower drug costs and is pleased to offer our association’s full support for H.R. 1829, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Accountability Study Act of 2021.
President, AMAC Action