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2022 Legislation

This session, Georgia lawmakers are considering legislation that would decrease what Georgia patients, particularly those living with chronic conditions, pay at the pharmacy counter for treatments they need. 

Many Georgia patients need consistent and reliable access to the treatments and care prescribed by their health care provider to manage symptoms, control their illness, and lead healthier lives. Over 6 million Georgians are living with at least one chronic condition, such as heart disease, HIV, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

However, insurance barriers and middlemen who work between health insurers and drug manufacturers to negotiate prescription drug prices called pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are still blocking access to lifesaving health care for many Georgia patients. Many health insurance companies and PBMs receive significant rebates and discounts from pharmaceutical companies for the cost of medications and treatments, but they don’t pass those savings on to patients receiving the care. This causes Georgians to pay more out of their own pockets for the care they need.

Luckily, Georgia lawmakers are considering legislation that will help Georgia patients access the care they need and stop letting PBMs and insurers pocket drug rebates and discounts. 

 House Bill 343 (HB 343) aims to reform rebates in Georgia and will increase transparency into health insurer and PBM practices and require insurers and PBMs pass 50% of the rebates they receive from drug companies for the cost of medications onto patients.

  • HB 343 will require that health insurers and PBMs pass 50% of the rebates they receive from drug companies for the cost of medications directly to patients at the pharmacy counter. Patients will no longer pay the full list price for their medications that offer pharmaceutical rebates (discounts).  

  • HB 343 ensures accountability and transparency by requiring an annual report by insurers on the amounts of rebate passed through to patients. This report is to be submitted to the GA House and GA Senate Health Committees.

 

HB 343 will reform a system that allows Georgia health insurers and PBMs to improve their bottom lines at the expense of patients, and ensure patients no longer pay full price for drugs that are sold to insurers and PBMs at deep discounts. Georgia is long overdue for reform to ensure that patients receive the savings that PBMs receive through pharmaceutical rebates. States like Arkansas have already passed legislation to ensure 100% of rebates are passed on to patients. 

HB 343 was considered during a hearing held by the Senate Health and Human Services Committee during Georgia’s 2024 legislative session. Despite passionate testimony from patient advocates and Representative Buddy Carter in favor of the legislation, members of the committee voted against the bill 5-8, ultimately ending consideration of HB 343 during this year’s session. Despite this outcome, Rx in Reach remains committed to advocating for policies that will reform harmful PBM practices and ease health care affordability burdens for Georgia patients.

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