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CAPD Statement on CMS Proposed Policies for Lower Prescription Drug Costs

Debra Barrett, Executive Director of the Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD), a broad-based group of health care purchasers – employers, public sector employees and retirees, unions – and PBMs who work on behalf of patients to keep medicine affordable, issued the following statement in response to the proposed rule released yesterday by CMS:

“CMS proposals to strengthen pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) tools, including negotiation, formulary flexibility in protected classes and real-time benefit tools used in e-prescribing offer the Medicare program effective ways to help lower drug prices. We are encouraged by the Administration’s efforts to control skyrocketing drug prices set by drug companies, which have made it difficult for patients to access the medicine they need.”

“The work PBMs do on behalf of seniors to negotiate lower drug prices from the drug manufacturers is most effective when competition exists in the marketplace. Ending drug companies’ gamesmanship that keeps prices high and prevents timely competition is critical for lowering drug prices.”

“We look forward to providing further comments on the ideas presented by CMS during the comment period. Focusing on the outcomes these proposals will have for patients, purchasers and taxpayers is critical to advancing meaningful change. We look forward to working with the Administration, Congress and stakeholders on market-based solutions to bring down drug prices for the long-term.”