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Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits manager, will exclude an additional 64 medicines next year from its formulary – the list of drugs that get preferred insurance coverage. The company estimates that restricting access to the drugs will save health plans an extra $700 million.

Combined with earlier exclusions, the PBM estimates overall savings will reach $2.5 billion in 2018, which would represent a 39 percent increase over projected savings this year. All in all, the PBM plans to exclude 159 medicines out of more than 3,700 that will be available next year. PBMs, you may recall, are crucial, behind-the-scenes middleman that negotiate drug prices on behalf of health plans, unions, and government agencies.

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  • Why not just start building the Soylent Green factories from the 1973 film and put those of us who are no longer “productive” into the hoppers to feed those who are. It would be much kinder than either being forced off of medications that are working on to cheaper drugs that our physicians have already tried and found non effective or else paying such exorbitant prices that we have nothing left of our pensions to live with any kind of dignity…. never mind pain or symptom free.

  • It might have been more ethical to name the drugs to be excluded before we signed up for express scripts. Then they wonder why you get rude on the phone, I guess they should expect a lot more if that. And richly deserved also!

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