Legislation enacted to regulate prescription drug middlemen known as Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) in New York

By Dr. Karl Williams, PSSNY President | January 3, 2022

Minutes before the clock struck midnight to close out 2021, Governor Kathy Hochul signed into law S.3762/A.1396, landmark legislation that finally regulates prescription drug middlemen known as Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) in New York.

The media described a previous form of this bill (which was vetoed by Gov. Cuomo) as the “nation’s toughest crackdown on PBMs,” and the new law provides critical protections from PBM abuse for patients and taxpayers, as well as for independent pharmacies that have been surviving on their last legs while leading essential vaccination and testing efforts in communities across NY.

The Pharmacists Society of the State of New York (PSSNY) was among the lawmakers, health care leaders, and patients behind this effort, and pharmacists’ advocacy over the past three years was a key component of the law’s passage (as well as two other laws in the “Pharmacy Rescue Package” signed by Gov. Hochul).

“PSSNY applauds Governor Hochul for taking action to protect New Yorkers from pharmacy benefit managers. These bills will expand patient choice and stifle PBMs’ ability to raise drug prices, rip off taxpayers and destroy community pharmacies.

While there is much more to be done, this is an important first step toward reclaiming our broken prescription drug distribution system from the powerful corporate middlemen that control it today.

We are grateful to Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and Speaker Heastie for their leadership in prioritizing and passing these bills in their chambers; to Senators Rivera, Breslin and Skoufis, Assembly Members Gottfried, Cahill and Joyner for championing these issues; and to all the pharmacists, patients, allies and lawmakers in both parties whose tireless advocacy made this possible. We look forward to working with the Governor to address pharmacy reimbursements as part of the 2022 State budget.”

– Dr. Karl Williams, President of the Pharmacists Society of the State of New York