Letter: Reform Pharmacy Benefit Managers to protect patients, prevent abuse

Prescription drug access and affordability are some of the most pressing issues for patients in California and throughout the country. As someone with loved ones and friends who depend on multiple prescriptions, and as a member of a community facing the same challenges, I strongly urge lawmakers in Washington to prioritize addressing this issue during the current legislative session. They can do that by reforming the harmful impact insurers and their Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) have on patients—particularly with regard to the high out-of-pocket costs millions of Americans face at the pharmacy.

Members of both parties have discussed the need to pass PBM reform at great lengths this year, yet no formal vote or discussion has been set in either the full House or Senate. It is time for lawmakers to take this issue more seriously—and Representative Eshoo can help set a positive example by supporting and helping to pass the Protecting Patients Against PBM Abuses Act.

PBMs have been allowed to get away with a range of profit-driven practices that undermine access and drive up out-of-pocket costs for patients for far too long. With the 2024 elections looming, our lawmakers should be working to show that they stand on the side of patients and not these shadowy, greedy health care middlemen. It’s time for Congress to pass PBM reform and help protect patient access to vital prescription medications.

Donna Hall

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