Jun. 11, 2019

HARRISBURG – Rep. Seth Grove (R-York) applauds the House Health Committee’s vote to advance four pieces of legislation – House Bills 941, 942, 943 and 944 – to address drug pricing by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in the state’s Medicaid program.

“As a House co-chair of the Pennsylvania Community Pharmacy Caucus. I’ve heard the stories of a large PBM drastically slashing drug reimbursements to independent pharmacists. Many of the owners of these locally owned pharmacies then received letters from a related corporation offering to buy their businesses, citing the reduced reimbursements,” Grove said. “These bills aim to address the issues, which impact consumers and taxpayers directly and would also impact the economy.”

House Bill 941, co-sponsored by Reps. Doyle Heffley (R-Carbon) and Rob Matzie (D-Beaver/Allegheny), a House co-chair of the Pennsylvania Community Pharmacy Caucus, would increase transparency in PBM pricing practices in Medicaid and address inadequate reimbursement rates for pharmacies.

“With the power to set reimbursement rates and determine which drugs will be covered, PBMs wield tremendous power, yet they’re not subject to any meaningful oversight that can check abuses of that power,” said Matzie. “My bill would provide much-needed transparency to bring a halt to predatory pricing practices by PBMs that are forcing mom-and-pop pharmacies to shut their doors.”

Grove’s House Bill 942 would codify the little known Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee operated by the Department of Human Services and add two community pharmacists to the committee. The committee makes recommendations to t pharmaceutical programs to the department secretary.

House Bill 943, introduced by Rep. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny) would eliminate gag orders on pharmacists to ensure pharmacists will be able to help consumers select lower price prescriptions. This provision has already been signed into law by President Donald Trump.

House Bill 944, introduced by Rep. Jonathan Fritz (R-Susquehanna/Wayne), would allow the Office of the Auditor General to conduct a full-scale audit of subcontracts with PBMs in Medicaid.

The bills now go to the full House for consideration.

Representative Seth Grove
196th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Greg Gross
RepGrove.com / Facebook.com/RepSethGrove