PBM Reverse Auction Will Usher Minnesota’s Drug Procurement Process into the Twenty-First Century Saint Paul, MN -- On June 30, 2021, the Minnesota Legislature passed bipartisan legislation to secure savings on prescription medications by modernizing how the state purchases them through its pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). This critical provision authored by Representative Michael Howard, DFL-Richfield, and Senator Michelle Benson, R-Ham Lake was included in the State Government Finance Omnibus bill and will create a reverse auction for PBMs seeking to win a contract for the State Employee Group Insurance Program (SEGIP).
PBMs are middlemen that manage prescription drug plans and benefits for health insurance plans. They determine what states, consumers and businesses pay for medicines, as well as how pharmacies are reimbursed. This legislation will help create greater competition and transparency around PBM practices.
“Free market-based competition and government modernization drove this legislation,” said Senator Benson. “The PBM reverse auction will help save taxpayers millions of dollars while lowering what the State and state employees spend on prescription medications. This is a win for everyone.”
“Minnesota will be an early adopter of this innovative PBM reverse auction which will help check rising prescription drug costs for thousands of dedicated Minnesota state employees,” said Representative Howard. “Similar legislation in other states has allowed public employees to underwrite better health care benefits for themselves and their families. I am thankful for the labor leaders and my colleagues in the House and Senate who supported this effort and got it to the finish line this session.”
The PBM Accountability Project of Minnesota, which brings together patients, advocates, health care industry workers, labor unions, community leaders and other stakeholders to help ensure that Minnesotans aren’t overpaying for the medications they need, expressed support for this effort from introduction.
“The PBM reverse auction creates a tangible path to out-of-pocket savings for our members,” said Brent Jeffers, Inter Faculty Organization (IFO) President. “What’s more, union members will have increased input into their health care benefits. From fellow labor advocates to lawmakers on both sides of the aisle at the State Capitol, I am pleased so many came together to support innovative reform this session.”
"Whether it’s taking care of our most vulnerable or protecting our environment, MAPE is here for Minnesota,” said Megan Dayton, Minnesota Association of Professional Employees (MAPE) Statewide President. “Our members are instrumental in keeping Minnesota moving forward, and they saw right away the benefits of a PBM reverse auction. Our hard-working members will now have a greater say in their benefits and see lower prescription costs for themselves and their families.”
“Pharmacists know that access to and the affordability of prescriptions is critical to the health of our patients,” said Sarah Derr, PharmD, Executive Director of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association (MPhA). “MPhA has been active in efforts to bring meaningful PBM reform to Minnesota, and this legislation puts Minnesotans first instead of health care middlemen.”
“The Minnesota Rural Health Association advocates every day for health care solutions for rural communities – addressing cost and access issues that significantly impact Greater Minnesota,” said Mark Jones, Executive Director of the Minnesota Rural Health Association (MRHA). “The PBM reverse auction is innovative, common sense and will help rein in rising prescription costs for thousands of Minnesotans and their families.”
“We don’t often agree on many policy issues, but on this, we are fully aligned,” said Annette Meeks, Founder and CEO of the Freedom Foundation of Minnesota. “The PBM reverse auction has saved billions of taxpayer dollars in other states, and I look forward to seeing this innovation play out on behalf of Minnesota taxpayers.”
To learn more, visit pbmaccountabilitymn.org.