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TODAY: Auditor General DePasquale To Lead First Regional Discussion On Transparency In Prescription Drug Pricing

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale Monday announced he will lead the first regional hearing TODAY on bringing transparency and accountability to prescription drug pricing focused on practices of pharmacy benefit managers.

The hearing will be held August 6 at Northampton County Community College, Alumni Hall, Room 130 A, B, C, D, 3835 Green Pond Road, Bethlehem from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.

DePasquale will be joined by Rep. Doyle Heffley, who introduced legislation on the PBM issue [– House Bill 2212 which passed the House in June and is now in the Senate.

The following are scheduled to speak:

— Dr. Kim Legg Corba, owner of Green Hills Direct Family Care in Allentown,

— Edward J. Bechtel, owner of Bechtel’s Pharmacy Inc. in Slatington,

— Pauline Vargo, owner at Medicap Pharmacy in Allentown,

— John Pavis, owner at Newhard Pharmacy in Northampton,

— Vincent Hartzell, pharmacist at Hartzell’s Pharmacy in Catasauqua, and

— April Alexander, assistant vice president of state affairs for Pharmaceutical Care Management Association.

In 2017, Pennsylvania taxpayers paid $3.4 billion to PBMs, up from $1.8 billion in 2013.

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) negotiate with drug companies and insurers to help define which drugs are covered by health insurance plans and set the drug reimbursement rates for community and chain pharmacies.

The price consumers pay at the pharmacy counter is affected by the amount of money that PBMs reimburse pharmacists for medications.

This event is part of the review process DePasquale announced on June 13.

On April 16 Community pharmacists asked the state to investigate practices by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), particularly CVS/Caremark, they believe are unnecessarily raising the cost of the state Medicaid Program for taxpayers and out-of-pocket expenses for prescription patients.

Click Here for more information on these issues from the PA Pharmacists Association.

Related Stories:

House Passes Bills On Medicaid Prescription Price Transparency, Eliminating Community Pharmacy Gag Orders

Community Pharmacists Ask For State Investigation into State Medicaid Prescription Reimbursement Practices


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