News Flash

District 2

Posted on: July 17, 2023

Op-Ed | Pharmacy Benefit Companies & Small Businesses

News flash district 2 (PNG)

Title: Pharmacy Benefit Companies Provide Invaluable Service To Small Businesses
Signer: Supervisor Mike Goodman
Word Count: 524

DRAFT

There’s a lot that goes into designing a health plan that works best for the unique needs of a business, but all employers share a common goal – choosing a plan that makes prescription drugs and health care costs more affordable.

Working as an insurance broker, small business owner and Trustee for Pinal County’s Employee Health Benefit Plan, I have a particularly unique understanding of health benefit plans from both the back end and front. And throughout my years of experience, there has been one steadfast actor that always works to help secure savings for patients and families and help employers offer quality and affordable prescription drug coverage – pharmacy benefit companies.

Unfortunately, recent efforts in Congress aim to disarm pharmacy benefit companies by siding with the one industry that has continuously put their profits over the American people by abusing the patent system to stifle competition – Big Pharma. Any legislation that targets our pharmacy benefits is a direct win for the pharmaceutical industry, who is pushing these misguided policies to help strengthen their already unilateral pricing power.

A recent analysis from the American Economic Liberties Project and the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK) found that the patent abuse of big drug companies cost American patients and consumers “an additional $40.07 billion on pharmaceuticals.” If you break down that $40 billion, it “equates to an average cost of approximately $120 per year for every American man, woman, and child, solely because of antitrust violations by the pharmaceutical industry.”

On the other hand, pharmacy benefit companies provide immense savings for employers, families and patients, and I have witnessed this firsthand. Through my role as an insurance consultant and as a Trustee for Pinal County’s Employee Health Benefit Plan, I have seen what rebates can do to lower prescription costs, and Pinal County itself has realized substantial financial advantages because of pharmacy benefit companies.

On top of the savings secured, pharmacy benefit companies help plan sponsors, such as small businesses and the county, offer quality prescription drug coverage for their employees by providing us with flexibility and a wide range of choices to best fit our unique needs.

To put it into perspective, pharmacy benefit companies help patients and payers secure more than a thousand dollars in savings per person every year and employers and labor unions $878 per patient per year on prescription drug costs.

Despite countless pieces of evidence clearly showing that Big Pharma is the root cause of high prices and pharmacy benefit companies helping lower prescription drug costs, legislation targeting our pharmacy benefits is still being discussed and advanced because the pharmaceutical industry continues to push its special-interest agenda.

Thankfully, Senators Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) have the power to put a stop to these misguided policies. 

Senator Sinema already made the right move earlier this year when she voted against the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act, but the fight doesn’t stop there.  

Arizonans need Senators Sinema and Kelly to put families, businesses and patients first by protecting our pharmacy benefits and holding Big Pharma accountable for their anti-competitive practices that are the true cause of high prescription drug costs. 

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