State regulations on PBMs hurt consumers | GOP could propose substitute for ACA subsidies | State waivers may be path to ACA compromise
April 20, 2015
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State regulations on PBMs hurt consumers
Pharmacy benefit managers negotiate with drugmakers and drugstores to keep medications affordable for consumers, and proposals to impose mandates on PBMs in states across the country in fact only protect drugstores by reducing competition and increasing prices for patients and payers, Devon Herrick with the National Center for Policy Analysis writes. National Center for Policy Analysis (4/20)
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Legislative & Regulatory News
GOP could propose substitute for ACA subsidies
Republicans say they're working to create refundable tax credits for low-income Americans in case the Supreme Court strikes down a provision in the Affordable Care Act that provides subsidies for people who get insurance through the federal exchange. Reuters (4/20)
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State waivers may be path to ACA compromise
A waiver in the Affordable Care Act could allow states to revamp their health care systems using federal money beginning in 2017. This provision could provide a path to political compromise, but any overhaul would have to fall within certain parameters. The Columbus Dispatch (Ohio) (tiered subscription model)/The Associated Press (4/19)
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Republicans split over using reconciliation to repeal the ACA
Some congressional Republicans want to use a budget maneuver called reconciliation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but others see it as a waste of time because President Barack Obama will veto any attempt to repeal the law. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (4/19), Los Angeles Times (tiered subscription model) (4/18)
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Drug Industry Spotlight
Drugmakers lobbied hard to get obesity drugs on the market
Drugmakers have spent millions of dollars lobbying Congress and supporting patient and physician groups in an effort to get obesity drugs to market. MedPage Today (free registration)/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (4/19)
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Drugmaker sues to prevent expanded indication for Abilify
Otsuka brought a lawsuit against the FDA to prevent the agency from widening approval for the company's antipsychotic drug Abilify, which was approved as an orphan drug to treat children with Tourette syndrome. Widening approval to include adults with TS would threaten the drug's orphan status and its extended market exclusivity. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model)/Pharmalot blog (4/17)
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New GPhA council will focus on biosimilars
The Generic Pharmaceutical Association's new Biosimilars Council will include drugmakers and other stakeholders. Its goals include raising public awareness and providing a forum for scientific, regulatory and policy discussions. Drug Store News (4/17)
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About PCMA
PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for more than 216 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D. PCMA is dedicated to enhancing the proven tools and techniques pioneered by PBMs that generate savings and access for consumers and payors.

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