ATAP on the Hill, Hosts first Congressional Briefing & Meetings
Members of the Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP) gathered in DC on Wednesday, June 26th, for the organizations first ever Hill Day and Congressional Briefing. Over 20 advocates representing patient and provider organizations from across the country spent the entire day educating Congress on drug pricing and access issues related to Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs).
ATAP visited over 30 congressional offices asking for support on two critical pieces of legislation; The Prescription Pricing for the People Act of 2019 (HR 2376/ S. 1227) and The Prescription Drug Rebate Reform Act of 2019 (S. 1384).
The Prescription Pricing for the People Act of 2019 requires the Federal Trade Commission to study pharmaceutical supply chain intermediaries and merger activity. The Prescription Drug Rebate Reform Act of 2019 would reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients by ensuring that they benefit from negotiated price concessions. Specifically, the bill would require group and individual health plans to base their coinsurances on net prices, not list prices.
ATAP highlighted these issues during its Congressional Briefing, Prescription Drug Affordability for Patients: The Real-World Perspective. Dr. Robert Levin, ATAP President and practicing rheumatologist, stated that PBMs are one of the major roadblocks to a patient’s access to affordable medication.
“PBMs receive a variety of fees, rebates, and other price concessions from manufacturers and pharmacies,” said Dr. Levin. “These price concessions are not made public and the amount of rebate payments has increased drastically, even as out-of-pocket drug costs for patients continue to go up. This is because patient coinsurances are often based on the list price, which does not reflect the price concessions received by the PBMs.”
Steven Newmark, Director of Policy and General Counsel for the Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF) continued on to provide the patient perspective while Adam Harbison, Director of Congressional Affairs for the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) provided some insight from pharmacists.
The Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP) is a coalition of patient and provider groups who are concerned about the role pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) play in the rising cost of drugs and reduced patient access. For more information please visit atapadvocates.com or email Kevin Daley at firstname.lastname@example.org.