Letter to the Editor 8-30-19
To the editor:
Prescription costs are out of control and we see the impact on our patients. Your readers can help by demanding PBM reform and to Fix DIR from our Kansas Senators and U.S. Representatives, especially Senator Pat Roberts who sits on the Senate Finance Committee.
Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) are the main reason drug costs are increasing. PBMs negotiate discounts with drug makers and don’t pass the savings on to the patients. They are monopolies that determine how much patients pay while often forcing them to their own pharmacies.
The PBM's claw back fees from pharmacies for many prescriptions, sometimes months after the transaction. “DIR” fees have increased 45,000 percent in recent years, forcing many community pharmacies to close and reducing access to local healthcare while the PBMs are showing record profits.
Taking DIR fees back after the transaction falsely inflates the cost to our seniors. This forces them into the Medicare Part D “donut hole” sooner and they pay more out of pocket.
We need major PBM reform in order to reduce the cost of medications for all. We encourage everyone to reach out to your Senators and Representatives today and ask them to "Fix DIR" and hold PBMs accountable for excessive medication costs.
Robb Rosenbaum, PharmD.