Washington, DC (Vocus) February 24, 2010
Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt released the following statement on today’s Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and District of Columbia Subcommittee on House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP):
“The FEHBP has long been touted as a gold standard for employee benefits and is often cited as the model for health insurance reform efforts at the state and national levels. A recent survey by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – the agency administering FEHBP – found that federal employees are overwhelmingly satisfied with their current health benefits by a 7-1 margin. This is significant, as pharmacy benefits are the most often-used part of the program.
“Regrettably, the FEHBP Prescription Drug Integrity, Transparency, and Cost Savings Act (H.R. 4489) would undermine many of the cost-saving tools used in FEHBP and disrupt prescription drug benefits for 8 million federal employees, retirees, and their families.
“Currently, FEHBP relies on the same sophisticated pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) used by Fortune 500 employers, Medicare Part D, and other successful programs to improve affordability. PBMs employ an array of tools to combat rising drug costs, including promoting a greater reliance on generic drugs, expanded use of home delivery, and more competition generated through formularies. These proven tools have helped drastically slow growth in drug expenditures.
“Specific provisions in the bill that would undermine cost-saving tools and reduce choices for enrollees would:
PCMA represents the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which improve affordability and
quality of care through the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), generic alternatives, mail-service pharmacies, and other innovative tools for 210-plus million Americans.
Charles Coté, 202-207-3605