PBM Transparency Legislation Heads to the Governor
Gov. Reynolds expected to sign Senate File 563, which aims to make the role of PBMs in setting the cost of drugs more transparent.
This week, both the Iowa Senate and Iowa House unanimously passed a bill that aims to shine a light on the “black box” that is prescription drug pricing. Senate File 563 aims to make the role of PBMs in setting the cost of drugs more transparent. It requires each PBM to file an annual report with the Iowa Insurance Commissioner detailing the price it negotiates for prescription drugs, the administrative fees it collects, and the rebates it receives from drug companies that it does not, in turn, pass on to its customer health plans.
IPA lent its support to the bill throughout the entire process, highlighting the difficulties pharmacists encounter as they see high prescription drug costs impact their patients. In a recent editorial supporting the bill, Sen. Charles Schneider of West Des Moines emphasized the need for PBM transparency to “help identify future steps to rein in the rising cost of prescription drugs.” This is a message also shared by IPA CEO Kate Gainer and Rep. John Forbes in another recent editorial supporting Sen. Grassley's efforts to bring accountability to the PBMs role in driving up health-care costs.
While much work remains in ensuring both patients and pharmacies are no longer detrimentally impacted by the opaque practices of PBMs, now more than ever, lawmakers and the general public are aware of the outsize role these “middlemen” play in driving up costs and ultimately harming patients. This is thanks to the efforts of many IPA members who have spent their time and energy telling their personal story to lawmakers and patients.