Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) (Drew Angerer/Pool via AP)

Sen­ate com­mit­tee ad­vances PBM bill as bi­par­ti­san re­forms gain trac­tion

Phar­ma­cy ben­e­fit man­agers are be­gin­ning to see en­e­mies on both sides of the aisle: On Wednes­day, a US Sen­ate com­mit­tee ad­vanced to the full cham­ber a bill to in­crease PBM trans­paren­cy and crack down on what law­mak­ers and crit­ics say are de­cep­tive prac­tices.

The Sen­ate Com­mit­tee on Com­merce, Sci­ence and Trans­porta­tion ad­vanced the bill by a bi­par­ti­san 18-9 vote, af­ter hear­ing tes­ti­mo­ny last Feb­ru­ary doc­u­ment­ing how PBMs con­trol sev­er­al key ar­eas of the drug dis­tri­b­u­tion and pay­ment sys­tem. The Phar­ma­cy Ben­e­fit Man­ag­er Trans­paren­cy Act, in­tro­duced by com­mit­tee chair Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Bud­get Com­mit­tee rank­ing mem­ber Chuck Grass­ley (R-IA), would make it un­law­ful for PBMs to en­gage in:

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