HONOLULU — Given that pharmaceutical companies, pharmacy benefit managers and health insurance companies have overlapping roles that affect prescription drug prices, physicians at the Interim Meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted new policy to expand the scope of its federal and state advocacy efforts to increase transparency of drug pricing.

“As spikes in prescription drug prices occur without justification, the American Medical Association believes we need more transparency to protect patients from drug price gouging and manipulation,” said AMA President-elect Barbara L. McAneny, M.D. “Greater transparency among pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers and health plans will shed light on the rationale for drug price increases and why patients pay what they do for their medications.”

According to the newly adopted policy, the AMA will:

  • oppose provisions in pharmacies’ contracts with pharmacy benefit managers that prohibit pharmacists from disclosing that a patient’s co-pay is higher than the drug’s cash price;
  • continue its efforts with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners address the development and management of pharmacy benefits;
  • develop model state legislation on the development and management of pharmacy benefits;
  • advocate for policies that prohibit price gouging on prescription medications when there are no justifiable factors or data to support the price increase;
  • continue implementation of its TruthinRx grassroots campaign to expand drug pricing transparency among pharmaceutical manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers and health plans, and to communicate the impact of each of these segments on drug prices and access to affordable treatment.

The AMA has been fighting for price transparency for prescription drugs and created TruthInRx.org to hear from patients and their struggles to afford their medications. TruthInRx.org is an interactive site that gives consumers an opportunity to tell their stories of how rising prices are affecting their health and their pocketbooks. The site is home to a growing gallery of curated videos and testimonials. It gives supporters ways to take action, such as sending a message to Congress and sharing content within their social networks.

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Robert J. Mills

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About the American Medical Association

The American Medical Association is the premier national organization providing timely, essential resources to empower physicians, residents and medical students to succeed at every phase of their medical lives. Physicians have entrusted the AMA to advance the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health on behalf of patients for more than 170 years.