FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Oregon Senate Rejection of PBM Reform Bill a Missed Opportunity
OSPA, NCPA urge passage next session to give relief to patients, pharmacies
WEST LINN, Ore. (July 6, 2023) – The Oregon State Pharmacy Association (OSPA) and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) are disappointed that the Oregon State Senate did not pass HB 3013 during its most recent session. This bi-partisan bill, which passed nearly unanimously in the State House, would have helped restore timely access to pharmacy care for patients throughout the state and also would provide relief to pharmacies struggling with below-cost payments and unreasonable fees from pharmacy benefit managers.
“The failure of the State Senate to pass HB 3013 is devastating and runs dangerously counter to the pharmacy access needs of our state,” said Brian Mayo, executive director at OSPA. A 2022 report OSPA released in collaboration with 3 Axis Advisors revealed that PBMs in the state are reimbursing pharmacies at wildly different rates while at times charging Medicare and Medicaid astronomical prices. “Patient access issues are real and they’ll now continue at a greater pace. While the mega-middlemen rake in the big bucks, patients are having a hard time finding care and pharmacies are struggling to remain viable. We strongly encourage the Oregon State Legislature to revisit this proposal immediately in the 2024 Assembly to provide relief and protect patient access to vital pharmacy services.”
“For pharmacy owners, we not only help patients deal with PBM-related issues like inflated costs or formulary exclusions, we have our own challenges too, including getting paid below cost, surprise clawbacks, steering and take-it-or-leave-it contracts,” said Michele Belcher, owner of Grants Pass Pharmacy in Grants Pass, Ore. Belcher is a member of OSPA as well as the immediate past president of NCPA. “The longer we Oregonians have to wait for regulations, the worse off our neighbors will be.”
NCPA, which represents the nation’s independent pharmacy owners, joins OSPA and other organizations in support of what was HB 3013 and similar PBM reform efforts.
“PBM-insurers have demonstrated time and time again – and in states from coast to coast – their unwillingness to be more transparent or adjust their business practices to allow for more accessible and affordable pharmacy care,” said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA. “In fact, the PBMs are in overdrive; spinning, misleading, and redirecting in their attempts to maintain the ‘status quo’ health care system that works for them but no one else. We echo OSPA’s calls for reform and enforcement. It’s the only way to stop these giant corporate middlemen from profiteering at the expense of patients.”
About the Oregon State Pharmacy Association
Oregon State Pharmacy Association (OSPA) was founded in 1889 as a professional trade association representing its member community of pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, pharmacy students and others who have an interest in advancing the practice of pharmacy through advocacy and education, and thereby improving the health of our fellow Oregonians. OSPA represents pharmacists statewide before the State Legislature, state agencies, Congress and with other health care stakeholders. To learn more about our efforts to protect pharmacists and patients, visit www.oregonpharmacy.org.
About the National Community Pharmacists Association
Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing over 19,400 pharmacies that employ nearly 240,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America’s most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit www.ncpa.org.