February 24, 2020

Employers Support Bipartisan Bill to Increase Drug Price Transparency and Reduce Gaming by Middlemen

EmployersRx endorses H.R. 5304 as part of ongoing initiative to lower drug prices through increased competition, value, and transparency in the market

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Employers’ Prescription for Affordable Drugs (EmployersRx) has announced its support of H.R. 5304, the “PBM Transparency and Prescription Drug Costs Act.” This bipartisan legislation will markedly lower private health insurance premiums and increase competition in the marketplace, according to a July 2019 report from the Congressional Budget Office.

H.R. 5304 was introduced in the House of Representatives in December 2019 by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-MT). The bill would guarantee transparency of drug prices by directing PBMs to report on the costs, fees, and rebate information associated with patients’ prescriptions. This reform ensures employers are aware of the true costs of the medications they purchase, passing savings on to consumers by lowering health insurance premiums and patients’ cost at the pharmacy counter.

States, local governments, and businesses hire PBMs to negotiate drug prices for the individuals on their health insurance plans. While PBMs play a crucial role in the drug supply chain, the lack of transparency into their practices has contributed to the rising cost of prescription drugs.

Collectively, employers purchase medical services for more than 181 million Americans and spend 21 cents of every health care dollar on prescription drugs, a figure that continues to grow year after year. Escalating drug costs cannot be justified by new innovation and are simply taking funds away from businesses that could be used to increase employee wages or company growth.

About Employers’ Prescription for Affordable Drugs

Collectively, employers are the largest purchaser of health care in the United States, purchasing health care services for more than 153 million people. Employers’ Prescription for Affordable Drugs (EmployersRx) mobilizes large employers to advocate for policies that increase competition, transparency, and value to lower the cost of prescription drugs.