Tester Urges Senate Finance Committee to Prioritize Lowering Drug Costs, Hold Massive PBMs Accountable
In letter to Senate Finance Committee Chair and Ranking Member, Senator encourages delinking PBMs’ service fee from drug prices
U.S. Senator Jon Tester today sent a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Mike Crapo (R-ID), urging them to prioritize lowering drug costs and holding massive Pharmacy Benefit managers (PBMs) accountable. Tester specifically asked that the Committee review proposals to reduce drug costs for the consumer by “delinking” the PBM’s service fee from the list price of a drug.
“At a time when Americans are dealing with high costs, it is critical we all work together to lower prices on essential items like prescription drugs,” Tester wrote. “Lack of meaningful PBM industry standards, limited transparency, and lack of regulatory oversight enable PBMs’ revenue growth at the direct expense of patients. As I travel around my state, I hear story after story from Montanans who are struggling to pay for prescription drugs. This is unacceptable and I urge you to continue the important work of finding a reasonable and effective solution that brings down costs for Montanans and folks all across this country.”
Tester has led the charge to lower health care costs for Montanans and hold massive PBM companies accountable. In March, Tester successfully attached a provision to his PBM Transparency Act to close a loophole that would have allowed PBMS to charge “clawback” fees.And at a Senate Commerce Committee hearing in February, Tester slammed the detrimental impacts that Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are having on local pharmacies in Montana and the consumers that rely on them.
Last May, Tester successfully pushed the Biden Administration to lower prescription drug costs for Montana seniors by closing a Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) loophole that allowed PBMs to retroactively charge excessive fees. This will benefit patients by lowering out-of-pocket costs and help rural pharmacies stay in business by increasing predictability and transparency.
And last August, Tester voted to pass the Inflation Reduction Act, which cut health care costs for working families by allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices and capping the price of prescription drugs, like insulin, for Medicare patients.