PRESS RELEASES

Published in All About Arizona News July 21, 2022

New Poll: Nearly 9 in 10 Voters Feel Pharmacy Benefit Managers Should be Required to Pass Discounts and Other Savings on to Consumers

 

Phoenix, AZ (July 20, 2022)  - Drug costs are a major concern for most Americans. The current healthcare system allows Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to act as middlemen and reap large profits off the backs of consumers. Reform is long overdue.  As Congress considering major drug pricing, a new poll conducted by the Arizona Independent Pharmacy Coalition (AIPC) demonstrates the frustration that consumers are feeling with PBMs under the current system.

PBMs negotiate discounts on prescription drugs from manufacturers but are not required to pass those savings along to the consumer. The poll showed that 81% of voters feel that these PBMs should not be allowed to keep these discounts for themselves, and a whopping 89% of voters feel these savings should be required to be passed on to consumers at the pharmacy counter.  Eighty-eight percent of voters reported that they would be supportive of capping co-pays on multiple chronic disease medications in Medicare at $35.

“Medications are essential for many people to live a healthy and happy life. Letting the PBMs continue to rake in exorbitant profits by pocketing drug discounts and other savings often puts the price of these life-saving medications out of reach of many. Nobody should have to skip medication or take less than the prescribed dosage so that these middlemen companies can get rich,” said Monique Whitney, Executive Director of AIPC.

The poll was conducted in the first week of July and polled 587 likely voters on their feelings towards prescription drug costs and their feelings towards PBMs.  For a full breakdown of the poll, please email Monique Whitney at monique@aziprx.org.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 1, 2021

ARIZONA INDEPENDENT PHARMACIES APPLAUD SENATOR NANCY BARTO AND THE ARIZONA STATE LEGISLATURE FOR ENDING UNNECESSARY PHARMACY FEES

 

Arizona Joins 22 Other States Ending the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Practice of Charging Pharmacies “Transaction Fees” When Submitting Reimbursement Claims

 

            PHOENIX, AZ (June 1, 2021) -- The Arizona Independent Pharmacy Coalition (AIPC) applauds Senator Nancy Barto, the Arizona state legislature, and Governor Doug Ducey for the passage of SB1356, which will now prevent pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) from charging pharmacies a “transaction fee” each and every time the pharmacy submits a claim for reimbursement or otherwise interfaces with the PBM.  Fees can range from 25 cents to as much as $2 per claim, which adds up to thousands of dollars a month that pharmacies must pay PBMs in order to be reimbursed by patient insurance.

 

Senator Nancy Barto (R-15) sponsored SB 1356, which was signed into law late last month by Governor Doug Ducey and will become effective 90 days after sine die, the official end of the state’s 2021 legislative session.

 

            “We appreciate Senator Barto and the Legislature for sending a clear message that unfair business practices will not be tolerated in our state,” said Teresa Dickenson, a pharmacist and Phoenix-area pharmacy owner.  “We are fortunate to live and work in a state that cares about keeping the playing field fair and level so that businesses can compete in the spirit of the free market.”

 

Similar to legislation passed in multiple other states, SB 1356 will prohibit PBMs from charging pharmacies for regular business interactions including submitting claims for reimbursement, appealing a denied claim, checking a patient’s drug cost share, using the PBM’s help desk and more. American Pharmacies (APRx) and Pharmacists United for Truth & Transparency (PUTT) actively supported the bill including testifying at legislative hearings.

 

“This is a not-insignificant step toward restoring equity between Arizona healthcare providers and insurers,” said Monique Whitney, AIPC co-chair and founder.  “We’re grateful to Senator Barto and our state leaders for their willingness to stand up for and help strengthen the viability of all Arizona pharmacies, which played a critical role during the pandemic and continue to provide medications, vaccinations and other vital services to Arizonans.

 

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Arizona Independent Pharmacy Coalition (AIPC) advocates on behalf of independent community pharmacies and their patients to choose how and where they will receive their medication. For more information visit AZIPRx.org.

 

American Pharmacies (APRx) is a member-owned purchasing cooperative for independent pharmacies that is based in Corpus, Christi, TX. APRx has 700+ members in 36 states and is the fastest-

growing independent pharmacy purchasing group in the nation. American Pharmacies and its affiliated advocacy groups have passed more than 15 pro-pharmacy bills in four states over the past 10 years.

 

Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) monitors PBM and other industry practices in the interest of improving the quality, safety and cost of patient care.  To learn more about PUTT, visit TruthRx.org.

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