Senate Approves Lagana Bill to Require Re-bid of Pharmacy Benefits Manager Contract

Lagana Gavel

Legislation expediting new PBM contract will save millions of dollars a month

TRENTON – The Senate today unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Senator Joseph Lagana that would require the state Treasury Department to expedite re-bidding of the existing Pharmacy Benefits Manager (PBM) contract in order to save millions of dollars a month.

The Lagana measure complies with the mandates of an Appellate Division ruling earlier this year that requires Treasury to use the same reverse auction procurement technology that allowed the state to save hundreds of millions on the last PBM contract. In 2017, New Jersey saved 18 percent, or nearly $2 billion over three years, on its pharmacy benefits contract.

“We need to make sure that we both expedite the PBM re-bid and maximize our savings from the program,” said Senator Lagana (D-Bergen).  “We believe that if we employ the innovative reverse auction procurement method that we used for the previous contract, we will realize additional savings in excess of the amounts we saved through the existing contact.  We must move quickly because the state is losing millions each week without a new pharmacy benefits contract.”

The bill, S-3074, requires the state to undertake the expedited procurement of professional services contracts for a reverse auction procurement platform, technical assistance to the state to evaluate the qualifications of bidders on a PBM procurement, and automated, real-time, electronic, line-by-line, claim-by-claim review of invoiced PBM prescription drug claims.  It also requires that the Treasury procure a new Pharmacy Benefits Manager for the State Health Benefits Plan and the School Employees’ Health Benefits Plan.