New Alliance Formed to Address Drug Pricing and Transparency Issues

Web Exclusives
Ethel D. Owen
Immediate Past President, NORM
Practice Administrator
Arthritis & Rheumatology Associates
West Palm Beach, FL

The National Organization of Rheumatology Managers (NORM) is pleased to announce that we have joined forces with several patient and provider groups, including the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations (CSRO), the American College of Rheumatology, the Global Healthy Living Foundation, the Rheumatology Nurses Society, and the Arthritis Foundation (AF) to form the Alliance for Transparent and Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP). This alliance is dedicated to addressing the issue of pharmacy benefit managers through educational outreach and grassroots advocacy initiatives. More specifically, ATAP will work to ensure that patients have access to effective and affordable medications by developing and implementing a comprehensive advocacy plan that seeks to increase transparency and influence regulations on pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) practices through legislation and public policy at the state and federal levels.

To that end, ATAP has already undertaken outreach and advocacy efforts, including a productive meeting with the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, a nonpartisan legislative branch agency that provides Congress with analysis and policy advice on the Medicare program.

In addition, Andrea Zlatkus (NORM), along with Anna Hyde and Kayla Amodeo, PhD (AF), and Michael Schweitz, MD, and Gregory Schimizzi, MD (CSRO), attended several meetings with congressional members, including Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senator John Thune (R-SD), and Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS), to discuss drug pricing and transparency issues. ATAP has also engaged in proactive discussions with the media to educate the public about PBMs and the direct impact they have on drug pricing and access to treatment.


“It was an honor to join my colleagues on Capitol Hill to shed light on the important topic of PBMs. Our audience was surprised to learn that, although PBMs receive discounts from pharmaceutical companies for medications, these cost savings are often not being passed down to patients, who are still paying Wholesale Acquisition Costs,” said Ms Zlatkus.

It is my hope that all practice managers who are interested in ATAP will promote its efforts and encourage other organizations to join. We will continue to provide updates in future issues of Rheumatology Practice Management and on NORM’s website ( as they become available.

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