House unanimously passes Matzie bill to bring transparency to pharmacy benefit manager practices

Pennsylvania is one step closer to ensuring fair drug-pricing practices in the state’s Medicaid program after the House today unanimously passed legislation sponsored by state Rep. Rob Matzie, D-Beaver/Allegheny.

House Bill 941 – which Matzie introduced earlier this year with state Rep. Doyle Heffley, R-Carbon – would bring transparency to the pricing practices of pharmacy benefit managers in the state’s Medicaid program. Those third-party PBMs are responsible for deciding which drugs are covered by managed care plans and how much to reimburse the pharmacies that fill those prescriptions.

Today we had a chance to fix a problem that has long been in need of fixing,” Matzie said. “As the House Democratic Chair of the bi-cameral, bi-partisan Community Pharmacy Caucus, I’ve come to know this issue well.

“I’ve heard example, after example of PBMs operating in bad faith. Overcharging patients. Wasting untold millions of taxpayer dollars. And worst of all, squeezing local pharmacies out of business.

“In Beaver County, local pharmacies are a literal lifeline to their communities and are critical to their patients. And they’re being put out of business. Today, we took the first step in stopping that.

“We’re trying to ensure that these PBMs operate as intended – to the benefit, not the detriment, of patients and taxpayers. This bill is about transparency, this bill is about accountability, this bill is about taxpayer dollars, this bill is about small business. And it’s about the health and well-being of Pennsylvanians.”

The bill now heads to the state Senate for consideration.