- Dennis Singleton, Dayton
The National Alliance on Mental Illness for Ohio is encouraged to see Senator Brown focus on a critical missing piece of the drug pricing puzzle – PBMs have long been taking advantage of our drug pricing system and Ohioans have suffered because of it. PBMs have generally skirted regulation until now, though they play a major role in driving up out-of-pocket costs. They stand to benefit when we pay more. A recent report based on research conducted in collaboration with local Ohio researchers found that PBM gross profits increased by 12% from 2017 to 2019. These middlemen derive much of their revenue at the expense of pharmacies, patients, and government programs as we learned thanks to the outstanding reporting of the media. We see this firsthand with patients battling mental health issues. We now have an opportunity, with Senator Brown’s leadership, to build on our state’s progress to hold PBMs accountable. Policies should focus on passing along drug discounts to patients, directly lowering out-of-pocket costs. Congress must take a hard look at PBMs and include such provisions in the Build Back Better legislation to help patients and families save on the prescriptions they need.