PCMA Endorses Legislation to Create a Clear
February 14, 2007
Reducing Drug Costs for Consumers and Employers
(Washington, DC)—Proclaiming it to be the “next step” toward increasing access and reducing prescription drug costs for consumers and employers, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) today endorsed the “Access to Life Saving Medicine Act of 2007,” legislation that seeks to create a clear regulatory pathway for follow-on biologics, or “biogenerics.” PCMA is the national association representing America’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which lower the cost of prescription drugs for more than 200 million Americans with coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurers, labor unions, and Medicare Part D.
Unlike conventional drug products where generic competition exists, the FDA currently lacks a clear regulatory pathway to approve follow-on biologics, or “biogenerics.” The “Access to Life Saving Medicine Act of 2007″ seeks to rectify this situation by creating a clear pathway that would enhance competition and in turn reduce costs and increase access for life-enhancing biologics.”
“PCMA applauds the leadership demonstrated by policymakers on this important health care issue,” said PCMA President Mark Merritt. “Biologics positively impact the lives of millions of Americans and this legislation is the next step toward introducing increased competition in the marketplace that will reduce costs, while increasing access and patient compliance.”
According to recent data contained in a report authored by researchers from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), competition from generic alternatives and other proven management tools utilized by PBMs helped slow prescription drug-spending in 2005 to its lowest growth rate in over a decade, rising just 5.8 percent. The 5.8 percent prescription-drug growth rate in 2005 represented a 33 percent reduction from the 2004 growth rate of 8.6 percent and a dramatic decline from 1999 when drug trend was running at 18.2 percent.
“With PBMs playing an integral role in the effort to expand consumers and payors’ options for savings in both the public and private sector, we strongly encourage both Democrats and Republicans to support this measure and vote for its passage,” said Merritt.
PCMA is the national association representing America’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which lower the cost of prescription drugs for more than 200 million Americans with coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurers, labor unions, and Medicare Part D
Phil Blando, 202-207-3614
Charles Coté 202-207-3605