40 Georgia Patient & Physician Groups Applaud Gov. Kemp for Signing Laws to Tighten Regulation of Pharmacy Benefit Managers

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40 Georgia Patient & Physician Groups Applaud Gov. Kemp for Signing Laws to Tighten Regulation of Pharmacy Benefit Managers

 

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law reforms that increase oversight of PBMS, require PBMs to pass on negotiated savings to health care plans, and apply copay assistance to patients’ cost share or copay responsibilities.

 

Atlanta, GA (August 5, 2020) – 40 Georgia patient and physician groups, led by the Rx in Reach GA Coalition, today applauded Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for signing Senate Bill 313 and House Bills 946 and 918 into law, which work together to tighten regulations of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and increase patient access to medications by requiring PBMs to pass savings onto healthcare plans and prohibit harmful steering practices. PBMs are middlemen who profit in the health care system by negotiating between health insurers, drug manufacturers and pharmacies, often resulting in confusing policies and higher prices for patients.

 

“By signing the PBM reform bills into law, Gov. Kemp is making it easier for Georgia patients to access the lifesaving treatments they need at a more affordable cost,” said Dorothy Leone-Glasser, RN, HHC, the Executive Director of Advocates for Responsible Care, which leads the Rx in Reach GA Coalition. “The laws will allow patients to get more prescriptions at their local neighborhood pharmacies and they will see more savings in their pockets, helping to make a difference as families struggle during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

Moreover, the legislation championed by Senator Dean Burke and Rep. David Knight and Rep. Sharon Cooper requires that any copay assistance that patients receive for generic medications is applied towards the patient’s cost share or copay responsibilities. The signed bills also increase patient protections by prohibiting harmful steering barriers that force patients to use out of state mail order pharmacies owned by affiliated companies. This practice limited patient choice and resulted in delays from filling prescriptions through mail-order pharmacies.

 

Rx in Reach GA Coalition thanks all the bill sponsors, Greg Reybold of the Georgia Pharmacy Association and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, SE Region for their determination to get vital legislation passed and putting patients first. We especially appreciate the commitment of our Rx in Reach GA partners and Patient Advocates, who called, emailed and posted on social media. Your efforts help to enable patients live their best quality of life. The patient voices were heard!

 

To read more about the negative impact of PBMs on patients, visit https://www.rxinreachga.org/problem.

 

The Rx in Reach GA Coalition includes: Advocates for Responsible Care, American Cancer Society, American Association of Diabetes Educators, American College of Physicians GA, American College of Rheumatology, Arthritis Foundation GA, Asthma & Allergy Network, Atlanta Black Nurses Association, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, National Eczema Association, Georgia AIDS Coalition, Georgia Asthma Coalition, Georgia Society of Clinical Oncology, Georgia Bio, Georgians For A Healthy Future, Georgia State Medical Association, Hemophilia of Georgia, Georgia Academy of Family Physicians, Georgia Pain Initiative, Georgia Psychiatric Physicians Association, Georgia Society of Ophthalmology, Georgia Society of Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery, Global Healthy Living Foundation, Infectious Disease Society GA, ITSAN, LACES, Lupus Foundation of America GA , Lung Cancer Alliance, Medical Association of Georgia, Mental Health America, Metro Atlanta Rheumatology Society, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, My Style Matters, Inc., MTS Sickle Cell Foundation, NAMI Georgia, National Patient Advocate Foundation, National Psoriasis Foundation, Team Type 1 Foundation, TRAGIC and U.S. Pain Foundation.

 

About Rx In Reach

The Rx in Reach GA Coalition – a project of Advocates for Responsible Care – is a partnership of 40 health-centered organizations advocating for legislation that ends the financial and discriminatory barriers to securing vital medications and treatments. For more information, visit www.RxinReachGA.org.

 

See the pdf of this press release here.