A

s Washington’s interest in drug prices has spiked in recent years, a largely invisible industry has suddenly found itself in the spotlight. Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are the middlemen who stand between manufacturers and consumers in the nation’s drug business. And they’ve been blamed by pharma companies for being the real profiteers in the current pricing system.

It seems at least some of that message is resonating with politicians. Last week the president’s council of economic advisers released a report on drug prices that raised alarms about PBM consolidation and called for policy changes to encourage competition.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus today. Try it FREE for 30 days and cancel anytime!

SUBSCRIBE TODAY

What is it?

STAT Plus is a premium subscription that delivers daily market-moving biopharma coverage and in-depth science reporting from a team with decades of industry experience.

What's included?

  • Authoritative biopharma coverage and analysis, interviews with industry pioneers, policy analysis, and first looks at cutting edge laboratories and early stage research
  • Subscriber-only networking events and panel discussions across the country
  • Monthly subscriber-only live chats with our reporters and experts in the field
  • Discounted tickets to industry events and early-bird access to industry reports

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

  • Although I support measures such as banning gag clauses in PBM contracts, at root the PBMs are not the main cause of too-high drug prices . . . pharmaceutical companies are. And Pharma is trying to divert us by throwing shade on PBMs.

    PBMs have now become part of the current environment with a vested interest in its continuance, and some of the measures they use to bring down drug prices have bad effects (making drugs preferred formulary drugs can be stressful on patients who have to switch for NO clinical reason), but at root they are part of the self-defense ecology of insurers battling Pharma’s ever-increasing, abusive drug prices.

    We need to focus most pressure on Pharma, not PBMs.

  • Let’s see how much guys and hutzpah Washington has when in our legalized corrupt system every legislator is on the game. linked article quickly walks through few drugs and pricing I the US and India. https://pharmachemicalscoatings.blogspot.com/2018/01/comparison-of-drugs-prices-us-vs-india_89.html?m=1

    Generally in every profitable business the producer should make profit and that their birth right for survival. But exploiting the system in false pretense should be unethical.

    For every drug, take a generic Ciprofloxacin, active has to be produced that is sold at a profit to a formulator who then sells it at a profit. Again, their birth right.

    In linked article I have used Ciprofloxacin as an example. Today I had to buy 20 of 500 milligram tablets. In India price is about 5 cents a tablet. If one can buy it at WalMart it is about 17 cents a tablet. However due to insurance coverage I paid 50 cents and had no choice.

    I got curious and asked, what I have prescription but no insurance, what would be the price. It was $4.25 cents per tablet. Isn’t that a broad day light robbery or rape or whatever choice words one wants to use.

    Amazon, Berkshire and JPMorgan (ABM = anti ballistic missile alloance) want bring the prices down but PBMs have already made sure they are not touched. They has already been told don’t meddle.

    Let’s see which legislator has any gut and if they do their epitah will be writen fast and furious. Cheers.

Sign up for our Morning Rounds newsletter

Your daily dose of what’s new in health and medicine.