The first target on drug prices: pharmacy benefit managers

After months of circular finger-pointing over high drug prices, lawmakers, administration officials and parts of the health care industry seem to have settled on an initial target: pharmacy benefit managers, the middlemen that health insurers and employers hire to negotiate with drug companies…Read More.

A costly PBM trick: set lower copays for expensive brand-name drugs than for generics

When the patent on a brand-name drug expires, and one or more generic versions enter the market, you’d expect consumers to pay less for the generic. That isn’t necessarily the case, thanks to the middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers…Read More.

Senate bill targets pharmacy benefit managers

The Lane Report
A bill that would put the state back in charge of its Medicaid drug program has moved to the House…Read More.

Independent Pharmacies Say Drug Middlemen Are Making Them Sick

Independent pharmacy groups in several states are sick of the low insurance reimbursement rates that middlemen, known as pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, pay them after drugs are dispensed and they’re pushing for greater oversight of the drug middlemen…Read More.

A South Texas county drags PBMs into nationwide lawsuit over opioids

A massive lawsuit over the nation’s opioid crisis has largely ignored an influential group of companies in the prescription drug business — the financial middlemen who brokered access to the powerful pills that got so many people hooked.Read More.

FDA Head Vows To Tackle High Drug Prices And Drugmakers ‘Gaming The System’

Kaiser Health News
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he will do everything “within my lane” to combat high drug prices and that he sees drug companies “gaming the system to try to block competition” in a multitude of ways in the marketplace…Read More.

Mr. Azar goes back to Washington

Modern Healthcare
It’s a propitious time, at least for conservatives, for Alex Azar to take the top job at HHS. …Read More.

Middlemen are driving up the cost of life-saving drugs

The Hill
History will record 2017 as a transformative year in medicine. The U.S. approved the first gene therapy that modifies a patient’s blood cells to help the immune system attack an aggressive form of leukemia in children and young adults…Read More.

‘Big black box called PBMs’ draws attention from lawmakers trying to solve drug prices

WASHINGTON — As lawmakers are puzzling over the question of why so many patients are paying so much money for prescription drugs — and what to do about it — Republicans are focusing increasing scrutiny on the middlemen: pharmacy benefit managers…Read more.

PBMs: Will the Amazon cometh?

Managed Care Magazine
A few months ago Linda Cahn was pondering how a retailing giant might change the current PBM business model of convoluted contract language, secret side deals, opaque pricing structures, and the like…Read more.

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