OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (February 11, 2021) – Today, The Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD) released the following statement today in regard to Oklahoma HB 2677:
“Employers in Oklahoma provide prescription drug coverage for 1.74 million Oklahomans and count on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), to use every tool available to lower the cost of prescription drugs and help improve health outcomes. PBM tools – including audits – are poised to save Oklahoma more than $10.6 billion over the next ten years.
“Unfortunately, state legislators are considering a bill that would limit PBMs’ ability to perform audits on the pharmacies in their networks, making it more difficult to discover fraud or wasteful activities – blocking accountability and driving up health care costs.
“Since 2014, Oklahoma’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) has recovered more than $91 million in fraudulent funds for the State’s Medicaid Program; PBM audits help bring similar accountability and oversight to the private sector. These audits routinely uncover pharmacies operating at fake addresses, billing patients for drugs at thousands of dollars above the market price, or illegally distributing controlled substances.
“HB 2677 would weaken protections against fraud and abuse and make it more difficult to recover tens of millions of dollars in wasted prescription drug spending – money that could otherwise be used to lower the cost of health care for Oklahomans.
“The bill would also open the door to concerning government overreach. Audit terms are negotiated in good faith between employers and PBMs in private contracts between the two sophisticated parties. This bill would interfere with these private contracts and their explicit requirements.
“HB 2677 is bad for health care and bad for Oklahoma. CAPD urges state legislators to drop this bill and others seeking to limit the PBM tools that employers, consumers and the State are relying on to achieve savings and ensure access to needed medicines.”