Yesterday, the Senate unanimously passed a bill authored by Senator Scott Jensen (R-Chaska) that improves oversight of Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). PBMs work alongside pharmacies as the middlemen that negotiate with health insurance companies and drug manufacturers. This bill will lower the cost of prescriptions by requiring transparency and accountability for PBMs. 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.
“You deserve to know what is contributing to the cost of your prescriptions,” said Senator Koran (R-North Branch). “With additional transparency, the PBMs will have to keep the costs down for the consumer because the slices of pie they are taking will be visible. Your medications will be cheaper and you can make an informed decision on the best value for you and your family.”
One of the largest sections of new law ever created is now on its way to the Governor’s desk for his signature. Senator Koran added, “Healthcare costs are skyrocketing, and we are taking all the steps we can to keep more money in your wallet.”