Dear AAPS Members and Friends,
On March 31, 2022 members of the U.S. House of Representatives congratulated themselves for passing a bill, HR 6833 (S 3700 in the Senate), they incorrectly claim will reduce the cost of livesaving insulin. It’s a “phony solution,” according to the WSJ.
In reality, the bill does nothing to lower the actual price of the drug. Instead, the legislation doubles down on the current system that drives prices higher while facilitating and protecting the payment of kickbacks that make middlemen, like Pharmacy Benefits Managers (PBMs), billions of dollars per year. At least $2 billion in kickbacks disappeared into PBMs pockets in 2017 on insulin products alone, reports Stat News, for example. “Americans, including those most in need, will continue to pay 800% more than they should for insulin,” warns Marion Mass, MD.
These kickbacks, euphemistically called “rebates,” hurt the most vulnerable, like the uninsured who will still face the full list price and the middle class who will face yet even higher premiums. And not only does HR 6833 fail to address the lucrative schemes, but it contains language that prevents Medicare from enforcing rules proposed by the Trump Administration, but stalled by President Biden, that would make sure long standing anti-kickback laws apply to PBMs like they already do to most everyone else, including doctors.
Abuse of safe harbors to anti-kickback laws, by entities like PBMs and their cousins, Group Purchasing Organizations (GPO) are increasingly “on the radar as a contributing factor to rising hospital costs, medication shortages, and stifling introduction of innovative products from smaller companies, explains, Marilyn M. Singleton, MD, JD.
Please contact your Members of Congress today. Tell them to reject any further legislation on drug pricing that does not address PBM kickbacks.
You can get your message on the way with a few short clicks at:https://p2a.co/9aO0Meq
Thank you for speaking out! Your voice makes a difference.
Additional Resource: Put Patients over Profits: Cutting out the middlemen will lower drug prices https://aapsonline.org/put-patients-over-profits-cutting-out-the-middlemen-will-lower-drug-prices/
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