PA Legislators look to boost independent pharmacies, regulate Pharmacy Benefit Managers

13 June 2024- Rep. Kathy L. Rapp (R-Warren/Crawford/Forest), Republican chair of the House Health Committee, announced the committee unanimously approved a bill that would give the Commonwealth more oversight over Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). The measure would also limit or ban several practices by PBMs that harm independent pharmacies.

“Since the beginning of the year, more than 140 pharmacies have closed in Pennsylvania, with more likely to close if we do not act,” Rapp said. “This legislation will help level the playing field for our independent pharmacies, giving Pennsylvanians more choices to fill their prescriptions.”

The committee also unanimously approved a measure that would expand the number of prescription drugs eligible to be donated through the Cancer Drug Repository Program and increase patient and pharmacy participation in the program.

“Nearly half the states in the U.S. allow people to donate to a drug repository program,” Rapp said. “Allowing folks to do so in the Commonwealth will hopefully increase participation in this program by pharmacies, as only two pharmacies currently accept donated cancer drugs.”

A bill that would provide state-level oversight of hospital price transparency and prohibition of certain collection actions was approved by the committee with a 20-4 vote.

“This bill is an example of both sides of the aisle coming together to try to address an important issue,” Rapp said. “Price transparency is important. It promotes healthy competition in health care, which will benefit patients.”

House Bill 1993House Bill 2339 and House Bill 2363 now head to the full House for consideration. In addition to these bills, the committee also passed three resolutions.

House Resolution 464 would designate the month of July 2024 as “MECP2 Duplication Syndrome Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania.

House Resolution 471 would recognize the month of June 2024 as “Scleroderma Awareness Month” and June 29, 2024, as “World Scleroderma Day” in Pennsylvania.

House Resolution 476 would recognize June 25, 2024, as “World Vitiligo Day” in Pennsylvania.