AHF and Sen. Cantwell (D-WA) Pound PBM Abuses

In Featured, News by Ged Kenslea

S. 127 would ban unfair drug pricing schemes and prohibit arbitrary ‘clawbacks’ of payments made to pharmacies   

LOS ANGELES (October 12, 2023)   AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) commended U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) for hosting a press conference in Washington State today with a coalition of health care providers and pharmacists on S. 127, a PBM reform bill the senator introduced last year alongside U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and is carefully shepherding through Congress.

According to Cantwell’s website, “The Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act of 2022 would ban unfair pricing schemes, prohibit arbitrary ‘clawbacks’ of payments made to pharmacies, and require PBMs to report to the FTC how much money they make through spread pricing and pharmacy fees.”

“AHF wholeheartedly endorses Senate Bill 4293 and we thank Senator Cantwell for highlighting the critical need for PBM reform across the country at this press event in Seattle today,” said Laura Boudreau, AHF Chief of Operations and Risk Management. “Since the creation of PBMs, just three companies have come to dominate almost all of the market. Reform is long overdue. We commend Senators Cantwell and Grassley for leading this effort.”

Roshanak Mohaghegh, AHF’s Regional Director of Pharmacy in the Seattle area, spoke at the Seattle press conference:

“HIV is a chronic disease.  On top of that, many people that have it experience challenges like stigma, mental health issues, sometimes no housing or inadequate food, addiction. The key to successful HIV care is having an integrated care model, and the pharmacist is key.  The pharmacist often is the person most closely in touch with the patient and trusted by the patient to provide confidential support. PBMs smash that model of care.  They force patients into mail order, breaking their tie with their pharmacist. To better safeguard patients, we are honored to support Senator Cantwell’s bill to rein in PBM abuses and thank her and Senator Grassley for their efforts.”





PHOTO CAPTION: U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, right, (D-WA) speaks at a press conference introducing pharmacy benefits managers reform while Roshy Mohaghegh, Regional Pharmacy Director, AIDS Healthcare Foundation, left, and Cathleen MacCaul, Advocacy Director, AARP WA, listen at Othello Station Pharmacy, an independent pharmacy in Seattle, on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2023. Sen. Cantwell introduced S. 127, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act of 2022, last year alongside U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) to rein in abuses by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that hurt independent pharmacies and the patients they serve by wielding undue control over the prescription drug and pharmacy businesses nationwide. The press conference brought attention to the issue in Washington State.(Stephen Brashear/AP Images for AIDS Healthcare Foundation)

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