New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has created the Department of Financial Services' Pharmacy Benefits Bureau, an office tasked with licensing and regulating the state's pharmacy benefits industry.
Pharmacy benefit managers operating in the state will be required to register with the new bureau by June 1 and submit their first annual report by July 1, according to a May 11 press release.
Earlier this year, Ms. Hochul signed into law the most comprehensive regulatory policies for PBMs in the nation, giving the Financial Services Department authority to license and supervise the industry.
The state's 2023 budget includes $5 million to fund and staff the new bureau. As the program develops, the costs will be offset through fees, assessments and penalties directed against PBMs.
In addition, the Financial Services Department's existing authority to investigate drug price increases will shift to the new bureau. The department will continue to review reporting, monitor market conduct and enforce consumer protections in New York.
"As we continue our comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic, it's crucial that we take every opportunity to improve the health care system and reduce costs for New Yorkers," Ms. Hochul said. "This landmark regulatory body will provide careful oversight to protect consumers from predatory practices in the largely unregulated pharmacy benefits managers industry. My administration remains committed to doing everything in its power to reduce the burden of health insurance and prescription drug costs on New Yorkers."