Senate passes bill to protect small businesses and consumers by regulating Pharmacy Benefit Managers

Today, the Senate unanimously passed a bill authored by Senator Scott Jensen (R-Chaska) that improves oversight of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs), the middlemen in the supply chain of getting medicines to patients. This bill requires transparency and accountability for PBMs, eliminates gag clauses, and mandates adequate pharmacy networks. It also enables pharmacists to substitute bio-equivalent medications on behalf of patients and allows patients to synchronize their medication fill-dates once a year without cost. Under this new law the common PBM strategy of clawing back dollars from local pharmacies and utilizing rebates for their own self-interest will end.

“The rising costs of prescription drugs are severely affecting families across the state,” said Senator Jensen. “We are taking the fight directly to those PBMs attempting to undercut our small businesses and consumers. This new chapter of law stands up for local pharmacies and patients, and demands transparency.”

One of the largest sections of new law ever created is now on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Senator Jensen added, “I am thankful for the partnership with all the members of the conference committee that led to the reform of a previously unaccountable system.”