Press Release, January 22, 2020, Governor’s Prescription Drug Task Force Considers Role of PBMs, Task Force Launches Website

January, 22 2020

For more information contact Olivia Hwang, Director of Public Affairs, (608) 209-6309 or olivia.hwang@wisconsin.gov


Governor's Prescription Drug Task Force Considers Role of Pharmacy Benefit Managers in Reducing Prices for Consumers, Task Force Launches Website

Milwaukee, Wis. – The Governor's Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices met in Milwaukee today to consider the role of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) in reducing costs for Wisconsin residents. The meeting, which was the Task Force's second monthly meeting since launching in November 2019, included presentations from policy experts and industry leaders. The Task Force also announced today the launch of its website, which makes meeting information and reports available to the public at https://rxdrugtaskforce.wi.gov/.

“No discussion of prescription drug costs is complete without an examination of the role pharmacy benefit managers play in the supply chain," said Task Force Chair and Deputy Insurance Commissioner Nathan Houdek. “Pharmacy benefit managers have received a lot of attention nationally as states consider ways to make prescription drugs more affordable for consumers. Today's discussion is vital in identifying the best solutions for Wisconsin."

The Task Force heard presentations from two PBMs – IngenioRx and Navitus. The meeting also included a presentation from Dr. Neeraj Sood, Professor and Vice Dean for Faculty & Research at the Price School of Public Policy, University of Southern California and Senior Fellow at the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics.

“Pharmacy benefit managers help manage prescription drug benefits for insurers and employers, in large part by negotiating discounted pricing and rebates from manufacturers and pharmacies," said Dr. Sood. “While serving an important role, PBMs are largely unregulated and, as with other sectors in the supply chain, greater scrutiny of pricing policies and more competition throughout the distribution system is warranted to ensure savings are passed along to consumers."

“PBMs play a vital role in the drug supply chain that extends beyond discount negotiations. It's important to understand the full benefits of what a PBM provides before any regulations are added that could have the unintended consequence of increasing drug costs for both plan sponsors and their patients. We strongly support increasing transparency and any efforts to better align the PBM payment model with lowering costs and improving care quality," said Brent Eberle, Senior Vice President and Chief Pharmacy Officer of Navitus.

The Task Force website also launched today. The site makes information about the Task Force available to the public, including meeting minutes, WisconsinEye recordings, and future meeting details. Visit the website to learn more about the work of the Task Force: https://rxdrugtaskforce.wi.gov/.

The Governor's Task Force on Reducing Prescription Drug Prices met for the first time in November 2019. Meeting minutes and presentations are available here. The next meeting, which is scheduled for February 19, will be held in Oshkosh. A full listing of upcoming meetings is available here.