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PBM Accountability Project of OH Commends Leaders for Budget Provisions Holding PBMs Accountable

Reverse Auction Provision Could Help Save Ohio Taxpayer Dollars

COLUMBUS, OHIO – The PBM Accountability Project of Ohio, a coalition of labor, business, healthcare providers, patient advocates, and other stakeholder groups, commends the efforts of Governor DeWine and Ohio’s legislative leaders for their continued efforts to identify and advance solutions to lower patients’ out-of-pocket costs for prescription medications.

Specifically, the group is pleased that the state’s biennial operating budget, signed by Governor DeWine on June 30th, contained several key provisions addressing needed pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) reforms, including an option for a PBM reverse auction.

Through a reverse auction, a transparent marketplace is created for PBMs to compete with one another based on the cost of their bids over multiple bidding rounds to win a contract with the state. PBMs – the middlemen who manage the state’s prescription drug benefits – would be forced to lower what they charge for medications, generating significant financial savings for Ohio taxpayers.

“By including an option for a PBM reverse auction in the state budget, Governor DeWine has created a path to help lower drug costs for public sector employee prescription drug benefits and other state-run public programs,” the coalition noted in their statement. “We thank Governor DeWine for advancing legislation that will help Ohioans save money at the pharmacy counter and tens of millions in taxpayer dollars. We look forward to working with the Administration and key departments to implement these policies.”

The PBM reverse auction, which has seen tremendous financial success for taxpayers in several states including New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Maryland, was supported by DeWine and will increase competition in the state’s selection of PBMs. More than a dozen other states are currently considering initiating a PBM reverse auction.

Other PBM reforms in the budget include:

  • Despite desperate, last-minute pushes to unravel much-needed Ohio Medicaid PBM and managed care reforms, the PBM Accountability Project of Ohio commends the legislature and Governor for standing strong and solidifying policies that are intended to save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars in prescription drug costs annually.

  • New policies were added to Ohio law that require insurers and PBMs to disclose prescription drug coverage eligibility, cost-sharing amounts, and therapeutic options to patients.

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