Are Pharmacy Benefit Managers Doing Their Job?

Laura Ingraham, that iconoclastic conservative radio commentator, speaking from the platform of a recent political convention, scolded the news media for its failure to report corruption in America and told them: “Do your jobs!”

Are pharmacy benefits managers doing their jobs?  With 170 million Americans relying on their employers to provide health insurance, and the cost of premiums rising faster than the rate of inflation, why are bills for medicines so costly these days?  Most Americans at make a co-payment for drugs, so medicines still require out-of-pocket expenditures.

Pharmacy Benefits companies are profiting handsomely by re-writing their contracts with employers to eliminate undisclosed drug-price markups that provide them with unprecedented profits.  In other words, the pharmacy benefits managers were given the responsibility of cutting the cost of drugs and decided to get in on the profiteering themselves.

Stocks of pharmacy benefits companies are trading at all-time highs.  Rebates paid to pharmacy benefits companies (kickbacks by another name) dominate the industry.  Those savings are not passed back to employers or consumers.

The Health Transformation Alliance (HTA) has been charged with cleaning up this mess.  HTA thinks it can clean reduce drug costs now because it has “better data analytics.”  Really?  We’re talking fraud here! “We hope to come up with something that works regardless of who wins the 2016 election,” says HTA.  That means this is a political game.  Where is the Attorney General?  Where is the Inspector General?  All missing in action.

Americans would be better served learning that the biological action of virtually every prescription drug can be replicated with dietary supplements and use them accordingly.  However, insurance doesn’t pay for dietary supplements, only FDA-approved drugs.  Essentially this boils down to racketeering between government and industry.  America is corrupt from top to bottom.  The public will continue to opt for medicines that insurance pays for.  [Barron’s July 23, 2016]  Six out of ten Americans take prescription drugs. [NCADD 2015]

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