GAO ex­am­ines state PBM reg­u­la­tion as Con­gress weighs wider re­forms

The Gov­ern­ment Ac­count­abil­i­ty Of­fice put sev­er­al states’ reg­u­la­tions around phar­ma­cy ben­e­fit man­agers un­der a mi­cro­scope, find­ing that states fa­vor broad au­thor­i­ty over PBMs, in a new re­port pub­lished Mon­day.

Look­ing at five states that have en­act­ed sub­stan­tial PBM re­forms — Arkansas, Cal­i­for­nia, Louisiana, Maine, and New York — the GAO in­ter­viewed each state’s health plan as­so­ci­a­tion, phar­ma­cy as­so­ci­a­tion and reg­u­la­tors to glean in­for­ma­tion on how the re­forms were im­ple­ment­ed. The re­port found that four out of the five states pre­ferred grant­i­ng reg­u­la­tors broad au­thor­i­ty to reg­u­late PBMs over spe­cif­ic statu­to­ry re­quire­ments, with one state say­ing that it al­lowed them to more quick­ly re­spond to is­sues as they come up.

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