How to Save $100 Billion

September 15, 2011

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) sent a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that outlined greater use of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) tools to save more than $100 billion in prescription drug costs over the next 10 years.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) sent a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that outlined greater use of pharmacy benefit management (PBM) tools to save more than $100 billion in prescription drug costs over the next 10 years.

“Policymakers looking for savings solutions should consider modernizing Medicaid pharmacy,” says Charles Cote PCMA assistant vice president, Strategic Communications. “Currently, the Medicaid fee-for-service program uses fewer generic drugs and pays drugstores more than double the pharmacy fees that Medicare or private insurers pay. Over the next decade, the federal government alone could save $21 billion - without cutting benefits or payments to doctors and hospitals - by modernizing Medicaid pharmacy benefits and utilizing proven PBM tools.”

In addition to modernizing Medicaid pharmacy, the options PCMA recommended to the Joint Select Committee included maximizing generic and therapeutic substitution in Part D, expediting the approval of biogenerics, allowing Part D plans to negotiate greater discounts on all drugs, banning a tax deduction for direct-to-consumer drug advertising, encouraging chronic care pharmacy and home delivery, and banning pay-for-delay drug settlements between brand-name drug companies and generic manufacturers.