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HDA Statement on Maryland Legislation Designed to Clarify Role of Critical Pharmacy Partners

February 11, 2022

Arlington, Va. — The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) issued the following statement today from HDA Senior Vice President of State Government Affairs and Alliance Development Matt DiLoreto, upon introduction of SB 823 and HB 973 by the Maryland Legislature.

“HDA supports Maryland’s continuing efforts to create transparency around prescription drug pricing, and we appreciate the legislature’s willingness to correct the confusion created by HB 978 which was enacted in 2020. SB 823 and HB 973 rightly clarify the role Pharmacy Services Administrative Organizations (PSAOs) play in our healthcare supply chain and amend potentially disruptive regulations.

“PSAOs function to help Maryland’s small, community pharmacies navigate the health insurance marketplace, which is extremely complex. As administrative intermediaries, PSAOs perform back-office tasks, like reimbursements, evaluating contracts, and other operational support to empower pharmacists to focus on patient care. PSAOs are not pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and therefore should not be regulated as such, nor do they influence the prices of prescription medications or patient benefit designs.

“Placing undue and burdensome regulations on PSAOs will not lead to the prescription medication transparency Maryland lawmakers are seeking. HDA and the PSAO industry stand ready to work with Maryland policymakers to navigate the complexities of the pharmacy benefit space and thank the SB 823 and HB 973 champions for their efforts to clarify the lines between differing supply chain entities.

“HDA urges the House and Senate to follow Senator Kramer and Delegate Kelly’s leadership and pass SB 823 and HB 973.”

For more information on PSAOs, please visit HDA.org/issues/psaos.

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ABOUT THE HEALTHCARE DISTRIBUTION ALLIANCE

The Healthcare Distribution Alliance (HDA) represents primary pharmaceutical distributors — the vital link between the nation’s pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacies, hospitals, long-term care facilities, clinics and others nationwide. Since 1876, HDA has helped members navigate regulations and innovations to get the right medicines to the right patients at the right time, safely and efficiently. The HDA Research Foundation, HDA’s nonprofit charitable foundation, serves the healthcare industry by providing research and education focused on priority healthcare supply chain issues.

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