Action alert: Urge support for bills to regulate PBMs in Texas

May 18, 2021

On behalf of Good Neighbor Pharmacy and Elevate Provider Network, we are asking that you please call your Texas State Senator by 9:00am Wednesday, May 19th, and urge their support for three bills - TX HB 1919, TX HB 2787, and TX HB 678. These critical bills will help to regulate Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to protect independent community pharmacists, and Texas patients, as well as increase access to lifesaving vaccines.  

  • HB 1919 prevents PBM Patient “Steering” Practices that require covered patients to using the PBMs’ wholly owned or affiliate pharmacy to fill a prescription. 
  • HB 2787 aligns Texas law with a landmark, unanimous U.S. Supreme Court decision by removing language that prevents the state from regulating ERISA, or “group” insurance plans, thus eliminating an impediment for both provider and patient. 
  • HB 678 would expand pharmacists’ authority to administer immunizations recommended by the CDC/Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (CDC/ACIP) or emergency use vaccines authorized or approved by the FDA.

HB 1919 and HB 678 are expected to be heard in the Texas Senate Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday, May 19th. HB 2787 has been referred to the Texas Senate Committee on Business & Commerce. If passed out of Committee, all three bills will receive consideration by the full Texas Senate. 

Call your Texas State Senator Today and tell him/her to support HB 1919, HB 678, and HB 2787 by following the steps below:

Step 1: Input the ADDRESS & ZIP CODE OF YOUR OF YOUR HOME OR BUSINESS HERE  (Chrome and Firefox browsers work best). Once completed, select your Texas State Senator from the search results. Please DO NOT select your U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, or Texas State Representatives – You must identify your Texas State Senator or you will not reach the correct office.

Step 2: Click through to Find Your State Senator’s Phone Number on his/her home page. 

Step 3: Call Your State Senator’s Office and make the “ask” using the talking points/phone script below:  

  • Hello, my name is YOUR NAME HERE and I am an independent, community pharmacist who works/lives/owns NAME OF PHAMRACY, in your district. As a pharmacist and constituent, I am calling you today to urge your support for House Bill 1919, House Bill 678, and House Bill 2787.
  • Currently, Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs)engage in practices that create barriers to fair competition and impede providers’ ability to care for patients.
  • PBMs in Texas often require — or pressure — patients to use the PBM’s affiliated pharmacy or mail-order pharmacy service. PBMs also often pay their own affiliate pharmacies more than other independently owned pharmacies and physician practices for the same services, restricting patient choice and stifling fair market competition.
  • HB 1919 will STOP patient steering and improve access to critical medications—especially in rural and underserved areas in Texas. It will also help to ensure a fairer healthcare marketplace and increased patient choice in Texas.
  • Similarly, HB 2787 will support Texas patients by bringing the state of Texas into conformity with a recent, unanimous Supreme Court Decision(8-0)determining that states are allowed to regulate group health insurance plans on matters related to pricing.
  • Finally, HB 678 will authorize pharmacists to provide and administer all immunizations recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (CDC/ACIP) or emergency use vaccines authorized or approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), such as those for COVID-19, and we need your help to ensure that this critical legislation gets passed so that patients can more easily gain access to lifesaving vaccines. 
  • All three bills are critically important because they will allow the state to put a stop to some of the most aggressive, patient-harming PBM practices, and allow increased patient access to critical medications especially in underserved and rural areas in Texas.   
  • For these reasons and as your constituent and a pharmacist in Texas, I encourage you to support Texas patients, community pharmacists, independent doctors, and the small businesses they operate by voting “YES” on HB 1919, HB 678, and HB 2787 should they come up for a for a vote.
  • Thank you for your time and consideration.

To Send a letter Re HB 678:

  • Follow this LINK to NACDS Rx Impact Action Center and then fill in your information in the dialogue box on the right-hand side.
  • Once completed, you may send a pre-drafted letter urging action from your state elected official.
  • We strongly encourage you to take the time to edit and personalize the letter, to let your state representative know why this legislation is important to you, your pharmacy, and your patients. 

If you have questions, please email Chris Johnson, Manager of State Government Affairs at AmerisourceBergen at Christian.johnson@amerisourcebergen.comor call 202-655-6549.