Tuesday, 23 April 2024

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Business News

It’s time for facts in the PBM debate

It’s time for facts in the PBM debate

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Health care is complex, and so is the pharmacy landscape. That leads to a lot of lazy takes by people who mean well but don’t necessarily understand how to create the changes we need. We do know how. And we are doing so.

I am proud to lead CVS Caremark, the country’s largest pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). Despite what you’ve read here and elsewhere, we exist to make prescription drugs more affordable. As we work to bring down costs, you’ll hear from others who want to raise them, specifically pharmaceutical companies who are directly responsible for how drugs are priced in our country.

You’ve also likely heard recently from Mark Cuban, who has an emerging side hustle as a pharmacy expert. His company, Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drugs, has a narrow offering and focuses on the cost of generic drugs. That’s a problem that has already been solved. Over the past decade, many organizations have built sophisticated businesses focused on reducing the cost of generic drugs in this country. 

The reality is, the Cost Plus offering is neither novel nor unique—it is a generic sourcing business that is 10 years too late. What’s more, it often lacks a consistent supply of products and regularly stocks treatments with short expiration dates, failing to offer the comprehensive and reliable service needed to deliver high-quality pharmacy benefits to a large patient population.

At CVS Caremark, we are creating a more transparent environment for drug pricing in this country, and it’s not just for 2,500 drugs; it’s for every drug from every manufacturer for every condition and every patient.  

With that backdrop, let’s focus on the real issue: This country has a brand drug pricing problem.

In 2023, across our entire member population of approximately 90 million Americans, three brand-name drugs (Humira, Ozempic, and Stelara) cost more than every single generic drug combined. These brand product categories, where drug manufacturers set high prices, are the primary source of rising drug costs for employers and consumers, the groups we support every day. 

Our size and scale allow us to go toe-to-toe with drug companies, driving competition and negotiating discounts that make the difference between someone affording their medication or going without. 

Beyond our ability to negotiate, we are taking other actions to bring lower-priced biosimilars to market and to put in place a holistic strategy to better manage GLP-1 costs amid…

Click Here to Read the Full Original Article at Fortune | FORTUNE…


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