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Sep 15, 2016

Tester Fights to Hold Pharmaceutical Middlemen Accountable

Bipartisan bill protects Montana seniors and small community pharmacies


(U.S. Senate) - Senator Jon Tester today introduced bipartisan legislation to prevent pharmaceutical "middlemen" from charging unjustified fees on small pharmacies that serve seniors.

Senators Tester's legislation, the Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Drug Spending Act, would prohibit Medicare Part D pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) from retroactively charging pharmacies for their services.

"I hear it more and more during my travels across Montana, the market for prescription drugs is broken and we need to act to hold drug companies and middlemen accountable," Senator Tester said. "This bipartisan legislation will help ensure excessive profits aren't being extracted at the expense of the community and rural pharmacies that serve America's seniors."

Under the current system, a pharmacist who serves a senior on Medicare Part D works through a PBM to collect payment from the senior's insurance company. The PBM then takes a certain percentage of the insurance payment for their service. But recently, PBMs have been collecting their fee on the front end and then coming back weeks or months later and charging the pharmacy even more.

This legislation would help community pharmacies better serve seniors and combat the growing financial uncertainty in the health care market place.

The Improving Transparency and Accuracy in Medicare Part D Drug Spending Act would prohibit the imposition of such fees for accurate claims. This would allow pharmacists to continue to serve Medicare beneficiaries and provide needed financial certainty for these often small businesses.

The bill is also sponsored by Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.).


Office Contact Information

Senator Tester's Montana staff serves the state from offices in Billings, Bozeman, Butte, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell, and Missoula. Please bring your concerns with federal agencies, academy nominations, and other situations to one of these Montana offices.


Judge Jameson Federal Building
2900 4th Ave N, Suite 201
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: (406) 252-0550
Fax: (406) 252-7768


Avant Courier Building
1 E Main Street, Suite 202
Bozeman, MT 59715
Phone: (406) 586-4450
Fax: (406) 586-7647


Silver Bow Center
125 W Granite, Suite 200
Butte, MT 59701
Phone: (406) 723-3277
Fax: (406) 782-4717

Great Falls

119 1st Avenue N, Suite 102
Great Falls, MT 59401
Phone: (406) 452-9585
Fax: (406) 452-9586


208 North Montana Avenue
Suite 104
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 449-5401
Fax: (406) 449-5462


8 Third Street E
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: (406) 257-3360
Fax: (406) 257-3974


130 W Front St.
Missoula, MT 59802
Phone: (406) 728-3003
Fax: (406) 728-2193

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