Senator Lindsey M. Williams Applauds Senate Passage of Pharmacy Reform Act

Harrisburg, Pa. -July 10, 2024 − Senator Lindsey M. Williams (D-Allegheny) issued the following statement today following the Senate passage of HB 1993:

“I was pleased to vote for HB 1993, which would reform Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs). This legislation will save Pennsylvanians money on prescription drugs, support our local pharmacies, and protect an essential link in our healthcare chain.

I have been fortunate to work with local pharmacies throughout my time in the Pennsylvania Senate. These incredibly well-informed individuals have participated in senior fairs, Community Baby Showers, and other events hosted by my office to ensure residents have access to vaccines and other essential health information.

One of the pharmacists with whom I worked closely throughout my time in the Senate, Katilyn Sullivan, owner of Russelton-Palmer Pharmacy in West Deersaid, “PBM reform is still needed to ensure patients continue to have access to their local brick-and-mortar stores and to include all the unique services we provide as community pharmacies. Today was a small step in the right direction, but community pharmacies remain at risk of disappearing. We thank the legislators who worked hard with us and look forward to continuing to work toward better solutions.”

These close community ties are part of why I advocated for local pharmacies to be leaders in distributing the Covid vaccine. These diminutive pharmacies know their patients very well and are well-positioned to answer questions. It was also essential to me to support these diminutive businesses, not just the huge corporate pharmacies.

In 2023, I hosted a roundtable for independent pharmacies to learn about the issues that are impacting their businesses. They cited many of the issues that this legislation addresses, most notably reimbursement parity with huge corporate pharmacies and eliminating PBM clawbacks. Small pharmacies are incredibly disadvantaged under our current system because corporate giants are able to negotiate better rates and spread their losses. This legislation will bring parity to the system and give our diminutive businesses a level playing field.

In April, the Senate Democratic Policy Committee heard from both independent pharmacies about how unfavorable reimbursement rates and monopolies by larger pharmacies have driven up costs and led to the closure of smaller pharmacies. Since the beginning of this year More than 140 pharmacies closed in Pennsylvania because PBM reimbursements no longer cover the cost of pharmacies purchasing medications, let alone the cost of filling prescriptions for customers.

“I am proud to help protect our local pharmacies and our health care by supporting PBM reform, and I thank my colleague in the House, Rep. Jessica Benham (D-38), for sponsoring it. I ask the House to act swiftly on these changes so that this legislation can reach the Governor’s desk and begin delivering benefits to Pennsylvanians as quickly as possible.”


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