Bipartisan overhaul to help local pharmacies cruises through PA House

01 July 2024- In a move aimed at protecting pharmacies and patients across Pennsylvania, legislation co-sponsored by Reps. Valerie Gaydos (R-Allegheny) and Jessica Benham (D-Allegheny), overwhelmingly passed the House of Representatives today.

House Bill 1993 would reform the practices of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) operating within the state. The legislation mandates the Pennsylvania Department of Insurance establish a robust process for addressing and resolving pharmacy complaints against PBMs. Key provisions of the bill include strict limitations and potential bans on several controversial PBM practices, including patient steering, spread pricing, and retroactive recoupment of funds previously paid to pharmacies by PBMs.

“This legislation is a crucial step toward ensuring transparency and accountability in how PBMs operate within Pennsylvania,” said Gaydos. “Health care is rapidly changing and getting more and more complex each day. Medication management is one of the most important aspects of health care and it occurs at your pharmacy. By holding PBMs accountable and providing a structured process for resolving disputes, we are safeguarding both our community pharmacies and the patients who rely on them for essential medications.”

Benham emphasized the importance of protecting consumers from predatory practices. “Patients should not be subjected to unfair practices that inflate costs and limit their choice of where to fill prescriptions,” said Benham. “The legislation seeks to establish clear guidelines that promote competition and prioritize patient care over corporate profit.”

The bill garnered bipartisan support in the House, reflecting widespread acknowledgment of the need to address issues stemming from PBM operations. It will now proceed to the Senate for further consideration.

“I am pleased to see this legislation pass the House with bipartisan backing,” said Gaydos. “It demonstrates our commitment to fostering a health care environment that prioritizes the needs of patients and supports our local pharmacies.”

Benham added, “I look forward to working with my colleagues in the Senate to move this legislation forward and deliver meaningful reforms that benefit all Pennsylvanians.”