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Alex Schmelzer didn’t think he’d be the most-hated person in drug pricing negotiations, but he was.

Schmelzer founded a consulting firm in 2016 to help companies battle their pharmacy benefit managers, the behemoth intermediaries that negotiate drug prices, process claims, and create networks of pharmacies. Schmelzer and his colleagues pored through data and discovered many employers were paying too much for their workers’ drugs. 


But after three years, in 2019, Schmelzer had to shut down his shop. It turns out his clients didn’t want him to battle as hard as he did — even if they were getting overcharged.

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