25 Jun Alford & Associates Nationally Recognized for Their Work for Terrebonne Parish
Except from “Laboratories of Transparency: How States are Taking on PBMs…and Winning” in From America’s Pharmacist Magazine, May 2018:
“They’ve been famously called “laboratories of democracy”: the states, where legislatures and agencies and local governments are often more nimble and responsive than the federal government can be. They can experiment, try things, change course more easily — and often impact the greater good as a result.
Lately, spurred by community pharmacists, policymakers in several states and at least one locality have hauled PBMs into the lab, examined their practices under the microscope, and they don’t like what they’ve seen. From Medicaid managed care organizations that fail to hold their pharmacy benefit managers accountable, to PBMs that often pay themselves much more than they pay community pharmacies, to spread pricing models that actually disadvantage employers
and taxpayers, it’s been a season of much-needed reforms.
For years, NCPA and its members have been turning up the heat on PBMs. It’s taken a while, but now, in many states, we’ve reached a boiling point, and thanks to the leadership of state associations and other com- munity pharmacy partners, policymakers are taking action. In Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, and a half-dozen other states, as well as in Terrebonne Parish, La., the laboratories of democracy have become laboratories of transparency, fairness, and accountability.
Here, we spotlight how community pharmacists in several states took on MAC cuts and got some relief, how Arkansas pharmacists stood together to fight rapidly declining
reimbursement rates, how pharmacy champions in the Kentucky legislature pushed for Medicaid disclosure, how Ohio pharmacists are shining a bright light on the roller coaster reimbursements that are putting phar- macies out of business, and how in Virginia, a pharmacist legislator helped enact mandatory disclosures on PBM spread in Medicaid.
We also spotlight an advancement in Louisiana, where a small local parish turned to a transparent PBM and saved $1.5 million in the first year.
There’s plenty going on in the labs these days. The burner is on. The key is to keep applying heat.“
by Jayne Cannon, NCPA Director of Communications