September 28,2023

Crapo, Wyden Introduce Finance Committee PBM Bill

Legislative Text from Finance Leaders Reflects Chairman’s Mark Reported by Committee in July

Washington, D.C.--Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Chair Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) introduced the Modernizing and Ensuring PBM Accountability Act (MEPA), a bill to bring more transparency, accountability and competition to pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) practices in the pharmaceutical supply chain.  The legislative text reflects the Chairman’s Mark that was reported out of the Finance Committee in July.

“This commonsense, bipartisan legislation takes crucial steps toward driving down prescription drug costs for Idahoans and ensuring that seniors can access the pharmacy of their choice, including in rural communities,” said Crapo.  “The comprehensive proposals included in this bill will enhance oversight of pharmacy benefit managers and improve incentives across Medicare and other federal health programs.  Moving forward, we will continue to build on this foundation through additional priorities from Senators across the Finance Committee to promote pharmacy access, strengthen accountability, and reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients.”

“Today’s introduction marks the next step towards taking on health care middlemen that are driving up costs for seniors and taxpayers,” said Wyden.  “Senator Crapo and I are committed to continuing our work with members of the committee who are interested in including additional policies beyond those in this bill.  I look forward to continuing our work, passing this into law and curtailing the PBM practices that are keeping drug prices high.” 

Among other steps, MEPA prohibits pharmacy benefit manager compensation in Medicare from being tied to the sticker price of a drug, increases transparency by creating independent audit and enforcement measures, and provides relief to independent community pharmacies that are often on the receiving end of PBM business practices that are harmful to their business.

The Modernizing and Ensuring PBM Accountability Act is supported by a strong coalition of Idaho groups, including the American Nurses Association Idaho, Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce, Idaho Academy of Family Physicians, Idaho Center for Nursing, Idaho Medical Association, Idaho Retailers Association, Idaho State Pharmacy Association, Idaho Technology Council, National Alliance on Mental Illness Idaho, North Idaho Alliance of Care, Nurse Leaders of Idaho, and Nurse Practitioners of Idaho; Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions; the Alliance of Community Health Plans; the Arthritis Foundation; the Coalition of State Rheumatological Organizations; the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation; the National Community Pharmacists Association; the National Consumers League; and a large coalition of patient groups.

Click here for more information on the legislation, including a description of the Chairman’s Mark and a section-by-section summary.  The legislative text can be found here.