Lobbying Big Pharma: Why Congress Failed to Regulate Pharmacy Benefit Managers This Spring

By Eleanor Harrison Apr23,2024
PBMs and pharmaceutical companies invest heavily in lobbying efforts with Congress

This spring, Congress failed to take any action on regulating the operations of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), despite the efforts of public health advocates. The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the largest trade group representing PBMs, had spent $4.8 million on lobbying in the first three months of 2023, an increase of 71% compared to the previous year.

Despite this, PBMs faced significant opposition during negotiations. The House passed a package aimed at increasing transparency in their operations, while two Senate committees passed significant reforms that would have affected how PBMs operated in Medicaid, Medicare, and the commercial insurance market. These measures were widely supported by public health programs, which are usually noncontroversial and receive broad bipartisan support.

However, members of Congress were able to avoid voting on individual issues by funding these programs through a large government spending bill. This allowed them to avoid taking a vote on controversial issues and maintain their political positions. As a result, PBMs were able to continue operating with minimal regulation and without facing significant changes to their business models.

By Eleanor Harrison

As a content writer at newseasoning.com, I infuse flavor into words, crafting compelling stories that captivate and inform our audience. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for creativity, I strive to create content that not only engages but also inspires. Whether I'm concocting a savory blog post or whipping up a spicy product description, I pour my heart and soul into every piece I write. Join me on this flavorful journey as we explore the tantalizing world of content creation together.

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