A state senator crusades against prescription-pricing abuses

Originally published in Times Herald-Record

Skoufis, of the 39th Senate District, here in the Hudson Valley, decided it was time for the state to step up and rein in these abusive practices. Appointed as chair of the Senate Investigations and Government Operations Committee, he launched an investigation of PBM activities with actual concrete results. The core of the money-making PBM practices is referred to as “spread pricing,” which is the huge difference between what the PBM pays the pharmacy and what the PBM receives from the health plan, including the plan you may have at your job and even Medicaid and Medicare. That difference pocketed by the PBM’s has been great enough for the billions accumulated by the PBM’s as well as the hardships caused to the neighborhood drugstore. And there has been no required reporting of the details of spread pricing in this state – until now.

The thorough investigation led by Skoufis and the report that followed led to the passing by the state legislature of what the Pharmacists Association considers the most aggressive, comprehensive PBM accountability law in the country. The law requires PBM’s to be licensed by the state and, among other things, to publicly disclose the specifics of spread pricing that previously would remain a secret.