Mar 18 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Thom Tillis and his colleagues recently sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to call for immediate action on enacting pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) reforms to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. 

“We write to call attention to the immediate need to enact pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) reforms to reduce Americans’ prescription drug costs and protect patient access to pharmacies across our country. Already in the 118th Congress, bipartisan legislation has advanced through several committees, addressing specific PBM practices that for far too long have threatened patient access to low-cost drugs and pharmacies that serve communities nationwide,” the senators wrote. 

“We have heard directly from our constituents that harmful and aggressive tactics of some PBMs continue to worsen year over year, and that action is needed now to protect pharmacies or potential closure is imminent. Many of our constituents report that some PBMs are reimbursing pharmacies even further below the pharmacies’ cost for the prescriptions that they fill – especially in Medicare. Congress must act to ensure proper oversight and transparency,” the senators continued. 

“Immediate action is needed to address these harmful practices by PBMs. Americans deserve and expect protection from inflated prescription drug costs, forced pharmacy closures, formulary manipulation, and barriers to their pharmacy of choice that result from harmful PBM tactics. We cannot sit idly by while patients suffer. We urge you to work as early as this month to enact specific PBM reforms that address these concerns and capitalize on the bipartisan effort and momentum in the House and Senate,” the senators concluded. 

The letter has the support of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS), the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA), the Food Industry Association (FMI), the National Grocers Association (NGA), and the National Association of Specialty Pharmacy (NASP). 

Full text of the letter is available HERE.


Senator Tillis has been a champion of PBM reform efforts and remains committed to pursuing solutions to further reduce the cost of prescription drugs. In addition to supporting the passage of the Better Mental Health Care, Lower Drug Cost and Extenders Act, Senator Tillis:

  • Introduced the Share the Savings with Seniors Act to require full rebate pass-through for chronic condition medicines in the deductible or when patients owe coinsurance and ensure that the patients who are most likely to face high out-of-pocket costs directly benefit from the savings that PBMs and plans negotiate on their behalf.
  • Introduced the Medicare PBM Accountability Act that requires PBMs to disclose behind-the-scenes practices that drive up prices and costs and would empower Medicare to negotiate lower prices for the nearly 50 million Americans enrolled in Medicare Part D drug plans.
  • Introduced the PBM Reporting Transparency Act, which requires the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission to prepare a report for Congress on various PBM practices and pricing models and the effects on patients’ out-of-pocket expenses.
  • Wrote to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Kahn in January urging the FTC to complete its investigation into PBMs and requesting a status update on the investigation, which has been open for over 18 months.