Statement From NCODA Legislative & Policy Advisory Committee
October 28, 2021
Patients Are The Priority: A Call For A Medically Integrated Community
CAZENOVIA, NY – New York State is the home of NCODA, and at one time locally owned pharmacies were commonplace. But now a system that allows certain Pharmacy Benefit Mangers (PBMs) to wield their power has put these pharmacies on the brink of permanent extinction.
Over the summer, NCODA educated our membership about a New York State Legislature bill that was passed with support on both sides of the aisle. The bill would establish increased oversight, accountability, and transparency for all PBMs throughout New York State. Former Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a similar bill in 2019, but since his exit from office, the current PBM bill has a chance to finally be signed into law at the hands of current Governor Kathy Hochul.
NCODA will always put patients first and look for solutions that lead to a medically integrated community that can achieve sustainability for patients in the years to come. Consistent with NCODA’s history and guiding values, announced last week was a first-of-its-kind collaboration with NOCDA and Prime Therapeutics, a PBM that servers more than 33 million members. Prime’s new IntegratedRx™ Oncology Program coupled with NCODA’s Center of Excellence (CoE) Medically Integrated Pharmacy (MIP) Accreditation Program will allow for a revolutionary shift of streamlined delivery of oncology treatment. Read the full press release here. Going Beyond the First Fill within a medically integrated oncology practice has been proven to enhance patient compliance and satisfaction, quality of care delivered, and cost avoidance and waste reduction to the healthcare system.
It is our belief that the oncology landscape needs to always be evolving and making life better for our patients; that includes reforming PBMs. One thing we always ask of our legislature, our government and the elected officials who mold the landscape of patient access to care is to be accountable. Accountability is necessary and we must hold PBMs accountable and help them address a system that needs change.
There are certain PBMs that control much of the pharmacy market. They are focused on profit instead of patients and have deals in place that are focused on eliminating independent pharmacies that were once pillars of our communities in New York. NCODA believes in a collaborative, patient-focused approach; one that we believe could include a revamping of the PBM system to make access to quality care and medication a realization for all patients.
NCODA is encouraged by the progress that has been made in New York State with support to rein in a few rogue PBMs and their non-patient centric practices. We hope that New York will follow the lead of other states including Texas, where NCODA President Jim Schwartz, RPh, had significant influence in the successful passage of PBM legislation in the state. The NYS bill would make patients the priority, and it would make medication more accessible and affordable to every patient in the state who is battling cancer.
NCODA’s Legislative and Policy Advisory Committee (LPAC) will be discussing this topic during their upcoming Legislative Roundtable on November 30, 2021 at 7PM Eastern. If any progress is made regarding the NYS bill prior to that, we will be the first to inform our membership.
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NCODA is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering medically integrated oncology practices to deliver positive, patient-centered outcomes by providing leadership, expertise, quality standards, and best practices. For more information about NCODA, its Executive Council, and general updates, visit www.ncoda.org or follow @NCODAorg on Twitter.