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Study Cautions Against Regulating Maryland’s Pharmacy Marketplace

Economic & Fiscal Policy, Health Care

PRESS RELEASES

OCTOBER 17, 2016 Bookmark and Share

ROCKVILLE, MD (October 17, 2016) – A new study warns Maryland legislators that attempts to regulate pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) may negatively disrupt the pharmacy market that millions of Marylanders depend on.  The full report, which was authored by Maryland Public Policy Institute Senior Fellow Marc Kilmer, can be found at mdpolicy.org.

PBMs are third-party organizations that work with their clients to manage prescription drug benefits. Their work to increase efficiency in the marketplace has helped contain drug costs.  One study prepared for the PBM trade association concluded that PBMs will save $2 trillion between 2012 and 2021.

Some independent pharmacists are unhappy with how PBMs operate. This has led to calls from legislators to regulate PBMs, especially the way that these organizations reimburse pharmacists for drugs.

“As our study shows, government intervention in the pharmacy benefit marketplace could distort drug prices and privilege one group of pharmacists over others,” said Christopher B. Summers. “Additionally, most regulatory proposals for PBMs would remove one of the best benefits for consumers: encouraging pharmacists to shop around for lower drug prices.” 

The report also highlights how heavy-handed regulations could lead to costly litigation similar to what occurred in Arkansas after state policymakers enacted new regulations governing PBMs.

View the full report at mdpolicy.org.

About the Maryland Public Policy Institute: Founded in 2001, the Maryland Public Policy Institute is a nonpartisan public policy research and education organization that focuses on state policy issues. The Institute’s mission is to formulate and promote public policies at all levels of government based on principles of free enterprise, limited government, and civil society.  Learn more at mdpolicy.org.

 

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