FMI-The Food Industry Association has allied with five other industry organizations to form a watchdog group monitoring pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).
Called the Coalition for PBM Reform, the group aims to bring more transparency to what its members say are anticompetitive and “opaque” business practices by PBMs. The coalition — whose participants include doctors, pharmacy, retail, health care and small-business groups and patient advocates — cite “underwater” reimbursements, patient steering and other questionable PBM practices as restricting patient access and hiking costs.
Announced yesterday, founding members of the Coalition for PBM Reform include the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), FMI-The Food Industry Association (FMI), AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations (CSRO) and Community Oncology Alliance (COA). These groups describe the new coalition as the “largest and most diverse effort yet” to change the way PBMs operate, as their constituents include independent pharmacies, grocery stores, small businesses, health care providers and patients.
“Our members’ retail stores include 10,000 supermarket pharmacies providing the full array of health and well-being tools that are so important to our customers. Unfortunately, despite their essential role during the COVID-19 pandemic, supermarket pharmacies are struggling to stay in business due to the anti-competitive practices of PBMs,” FMI President and CEO Leslie Sarasin said in a statement. “We look forward to working with the diverse group of organizations making up the Coalition for PBM Reform to collectively seek greater transparency in the way PBMs operate that will benefit patients, health care providers, employers and pharmacies alike.” Continue Reading