ATAP Advocates
Taking a Stand For Patients

Senate Help Committee Comments

Senate help committee comments

ATAP Submits Comments to Senate HELP Committee on Need for PBM Reform

In a series of hearings, the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee has continued to investigate the rising cost of prescription drugs for patients in the United States. On October 17th, the committee convened a hearing to discuss the drug delivery system in an effort to frame future efforts in combatting escalating drug prices.

The committee heard from experts on a number of issues affecting the price of pharmaceuticals in the U.S. and, as part of the questioning by the Senators present, the committee’s attention turned towards pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Committee members scrutinized some of the opaque and anti-competitive practices employed by PBMs that have contributed to untenable costs for patients.

To supplement and assist the committee in its pursuit of reining in costs for patients, the Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP) submitted comments on the role PBMs play in raising costs for patients, suggestions on how to move forward in resolving these issues. These proposals include:

  • Increasing transparency in the PBM - pharmaceutical manufacturer rebate system through standardized definitions and disclosures.

  • Reductions in patient cost-sharing by improving the pass through of price concessions made to PBMs.

  • Improve access to treatment through the use of transparent and clinically sound formularies.