To the Editor:
This fall the United States Senate may be considering bipartisan legislation addressing prescription drug pricing. I would like to urge residents of Scotts Bluff and surrounding counties to contact Senators Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse to ensure the final bill reforms the way Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) operate.
PBMs are huge, multi-billion dollar corporations (middle-men) who negotiate with insurance companies to determine which pharmacies patients must use and how much patients will pay at the pharmacy counter. The biggest PBMs own their own pharmacies and they often steer patients to them. What’s worse, they charge local pharmacies very high fees to fill a prescription-often months after the prescription has been filled. These fees are called DIR fees.
The average independent pharmacy pays more than $88,000 per year in so-called DIR fees. These fees are driving many local pharmacies out of business which hurts our patients and the communities we serve.
Voters who are concerned about the high cost of medicine and being able to use their local pharmacies should contact our Senators’ offices and urge them to stop this extraordinary, illegal and unethical rip-off and rein in the PBMs.