Panel clears prescription drug regulation bill

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma House committee has approved a bill that would bring pharmacy benefit managers under the oversight of the State Board of Pharmacy.

PBMs are private companies that connect employers that offer health insurance with pharmacies that fill prescriptions for employees. The House Public Health Committee voted 7-3 Tuesday to approve the proposal from Republican Rep. David Derby, who is a pharmacist and the committee's chairman.

Derby says PBMs are currently under no oversight within the state. The bill is meant to require PBMs to be more transparent.

The proposal has ignited controversy between Derby's supporters and the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a national PBM advocacy organization. Both sides accuse the other of a conflict of interest and say doing what the other wants will raise costs.

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