Oregon institutes PBM bill

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, a Democrat, has signed what the National Association of Community Pharmacy has characterized as groundbreaking reform legislation that applies reasonable standards to how pharmacy benefit managers audit community pharmacies, provides increased transparency into generic prescription drug reimbursement and ensures that PBM administrators of prescription drug claims are registered within the state.

Members of a Pharmacy Working Group, consisting of Oregon pharmacists, representatives of the Oregon Pharmacy Association, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores, NCPA, the Oregon Pharmacy Coalition, state legislators and representatives of the PBM community have collaborated on these issues over the past year, NCPA noted. 

“Oregon is demonstrating its leadership in the healthcare arena," stated Douglas Hoey, NCPA CEO. "This new law will help Oregon’s clinically trained pharmacists — the medication experts — to devote more time to their patients. The bill contains three notable provisions that will ultimately benefit any Oregon patient who enters a retail pharmacy."

Specifically, the bill will curb excessive pharmacy audit practices in pursuit of minor technicalities or trivial clerical errors. The bill will also require PBMs to update their reimbursement rates more frequently to better reflect the pharmacy’s actual drug acquisition costs, which can increase dramatically and virtually overnight. Also, the bill requires PBMs to register with the Insurance Division of Oregon, a step toward some level of regulatory oversight of the drug benefit management industry within the state.  

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