News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

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Letter: Pharmacy benefit managers need more scrutiny

I was thankful to see California Attorney General Rob Bonta join dozens of other state attorneys general on a letter to Congress calling on lawmakers to pass much-needed reform of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and the practices they use to manipulate the prescription drug marketplace to the detriment of patients and independent pharmacists like me.

As glad as I am for Mr. Bonta’s support, I am equally frustrated and disappointed that this issue hasn’t gained the traction or attention it deserves by any of our lawmakers. That is especially true given the support PBM reform enjoys on both sides of the aisle, with multiple bipartisan legislative solutions working to tackle this issue last year.

Through policies like patient “steering,” PBMs restrict access to doctor-prescribed medications, treatments, and therapies to the larger chain pharmacies they own or with which they are affiliated. That puts up barriers for patients while directly hurting our business. The only winners are PBMs, which boost their profits with patient steering and a range of other unfair policies.

Failing to act on this issue will only hurt independent pharmacies while continuing to reduce access, increase costs, and make life all the more difficult for patients.

Prashant Koyani
San Diego
March 27, 2024


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