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Letter: Albany must be careful when trying to ‘fix’ costs

The legislature should be extremely careful about imparting “fixes” that can lead to increased costs and unintended consequences. The health care system is complex, and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) serve an important role in managing costs for patients – including our members.

The Police Conference of New York has a membership of 230 locals, representing police in cities, towns, villages and counties across the state of New York. Our efforts are focused on improving the living and working conditions of police officers. This includes providing information on salaries, holidays and other benefits – including health care.

Health care is one of the top issues we hear about from our members. Prices are a key factor, particularly the cost of prescription medications. For those with ongoing health concerns, the affordability of the medications they need is top of mind.

One way we have of managing rising prescription medication costs is the use of PBMs. PBMs act as negotiators, working with prescription drug manufacturers and health plans, including the self-insured plans frequently used by unions.

By negotiating lower drug prices, PBMs help to keep prescription drug costs under control. When we increase the regulatory burden on PBMs, we reduce their effectiveness. Disrupting the efficiency of PBMs will lead to higher costs, a burden that will be felt by our members.

Richard Wells

Albany

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