Last week, Sens. Ron Wyden (R-Ore) and Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) introduced a bill that follows up on the Senate Finance Committee action in July mentioned above.
The bill is called the Modernizing and Ensuring PBM Accountability Act, or MEPA.
The legislation would:
- Prohibit PBM compensation in Medicare from being tied to price.
- Increase audit and enforcement measures; and
- Aid independent community pharmacies that have struggled because of PBM practices.
The bill also calls for a survey of retail community pharmacy drug prices to determine the national average drug acquisition cost for covered outpatient drugs. It would include price concessions to the pharmacy, such as discounts and rebates.
Legislators have introduced at least a dozen bills this year to address the impact of increasing consolidation among PBMs and the lack of transparency into prescription drug access and pricing. The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the trade association representing PBMs, contends that none of the legislative proposals would lower drug prices.