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PCMA: New CBO Analysis Confirms Independent Pharmacy 'Collective Bargaining' Legislation Increases Costs for Consumers and Payors
Date:1/15/2008

WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) issued the following statement in response to a new analysis released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that estimates the costs associated with sweeping antitrust exemptions for independent pharmacies:

"The new CBO analysis confirms that sweeping antitrust exemptions for independent pharmacies would increase costs for Medicare Part D, Medicaid, the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program, as well as for employers and consumers. HR 971 would give independent pharmacies a 'license to collude' to raise prescription drug prices, without adding value for consumers or payors.

"CBO found that HR 971 would increase federal costs by $727 million over ten years and that increased drug costs to private health plans, employers, and consumers would result in 'reductions in the scope or generosity of health insurance benefits, such as increased deductibles or higher copayments.' CBO's analysis also contends that cost increases resulting from the legislation would be passed along to workers, reducing 'both their taxable compensation and other fringe benefits.'

"Two-thirds of independent pharmacies already hire groups called Pharmacy Service Administrative Organizations (PSAOs) to collectively bargain on their behalf for higher payments in Part D and other programs. A recent report from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) found that community pharmacies belonging to group purchasing organizations achieve higher Part D reimbursement rates -- a fact that flies in the face of arguments favoring pharmacy antitrust exemptions."

PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for more than 210 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D


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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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