Letters To The Editor: Pharmacy Benefit Mangers Need Reform
I was glad to hear Senator Cassidy make remarks on the Senate floor addressing the dire impact on innovation that prescription price controls can have. As the Biden administration moves forward on its plan to dictate prices for 10 prescription drugs, I share the Senator’s concerns and worry about the impact that this highly flawed policy will have on the future of drug development in America. These price controls could have a negative impact on prescription drug access. But even more concerning is the fact that these kinds of policies could have on the ability of the private market to continue investing in the development of new medications and therapies for a range of diseases, including, as Senator Cassidy mentioned, cancer, dementia, and a range of currently incurable neurological conditions.
I’m thankful that Senator Cassidy is speaking out about these issues and hopeful he will use his voice in the Senate and experience as a physician to call for more reasonable policies that will reduce costs for patients without wreaking havoc on medical and pharmaceutical innovation.
Congress should pivot away from harmful prescription price controls and focus instead on reforming the profit-driven practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), the healthcare middlemen that control 80% of the prescriptions on the market today. These groups enforce a range of restrictive policies that drive up profits while undermining access and increasing costs for patients.
Senator Cassidy should keep up the good work and help pass commonsense PBM reform.
Lisa Hightower - Ruston, LA