Pharmacy News

NCPA, MPA urge Senate, Gov. Whitmer to swiftly finalize state’s first PBM regulation

LANSING, Mich. (March 24, 2021) — The Michigan Pharmacists Association and the National Community Pharmacists Association applaud passage of Michigan House Bill 4348 by the state’s House of Representatives in a vote of 97-10. This legislation, introduced by Rep. Julie Calley, would provide much-needed pharmacy benefit manager reforms, which are lacking in Michigan. PBMs are threatening access to community pharmacies and increasing health care costs for patients and plan sponsors in Michigan. The bill had passed the Health Policy Committee, chaired by Rep. Bronna Kahle, in a vote of 18-1, and now heads to the Senate for consideration.

“PBMs, which dictate how patients get their prescriptions and how much they pay, spent years operating in the shadows and manipulating the complicated health care system to fleece patients, taxpayers, and pharmacies,” said MPA CEO Mark Glasper. “Thankfully, their tactics are being uncovered and restricted in states across the country. Michigan must rein them in too.

“House Speaker Jason Wentworth was a driving force behind this legislation,” Glasper said. “MPA has been educating and working with the speaker for the past four years on the tactics that PBMs use in his state and across the country. His leadership and the strong support of the Michigan House of Representatives for HB 4348 have been integral to the bill’s passage. The Senate and Gov. Whitmer should quickly approve House Bill 4348 to provide patients and local pharmacies with the relief they need.”

House Bill 4348 would prohibit PBMs from reimbursing pharmacies affiliated with the PBM more than non-affiliate pharmacies; prohibit patient steering to PBM-owned pharmacies; prohibit retroactive clawbacks; require reimbursements be based on the National Average Drug Acquisition Cost, an objective benchmark that accurately reflects the true market costs for Michigan pharmacies; and establish fair audit procedures for community pharmacies.

“The majority of states have laws on the books to curb drug costs by regulating PBMs, whether by outlawing patient steering, requiring the PBM to be licensed by the state, banning gag clauses or through other reforms,” said Anne Cassity, NCPA Vice President of Federal and State Government Affairs. “Independent neighborhood pharmacies and their patients are eager to see Michigan implement PBM regulations as well. We’re grateful to Reps. Calley and Kahle, to Speaker Wentworth, and to their colleagues for joining them in supporting this important legislation.”

Click here for NCPA's letter in support of House Bill 4348.


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