Skip to Main Content

In what is being described as an unusual move, a Pennsylvania county is openly blaming pharmacy benefit managers for high prices in the opaque pharmaceutical pricing system, a move that suggests more local officials may start scrutinizing these controversial middlemen.

In a report released last week, the controller in Lehigh County, Pa., estimated the county could have saved $1.4 million in 2019 if local officials were aware of the extent of rebates that were pocketed by Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, which hired Express Scripts to provide pharmacy benefits, and if comparative pricing was pursued for 200 different prescription drugs.


“This audit exposes what many of us have known, that our healthcare system is wasteful, lacks transparency and is subject to the greed of pharmacy benefit managers that are more interested in profit,” Lehigh Country Controller Mark Pinsley said in a statement. He added the county could have saved $1.6 million if rebates had been passed along between 2017 and 2019.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT+ and enjoy your first 30 days free!

  • We should just have widespread health.
    It’s existed.
    If someone knew why, and disguised the (preventive & curative antibacterial, antiviral & antifungal) actions within a company first, then we’d have widespread health again.
    Such health care would drain pharma’s healthcare jungle.
    And eliminate the middlemen. And others.
    Is that what Amazon’s doing?
    How will that end?
    Amazon: the river which drains the eponymous jungle, bringing it life. Clever name.
    Ask your doctor. Now and later.

  • Can someone please tell me how many times do we have to hear about the PBM’s ripping off Medicare, medicaid ,Unions and every American before our government does something about these maffia PBM’s ?
    I think every Attorney General in this country is aware of the billions of dollars being stolen by these PBM’s.
    Yet nothing is done …. I just don’t get it …………….

Comments are closed.