Companies Overseeing Prescription Benefits Poised For Growth
Pharmacy benefit management companies, the third-party administrators for prescription drug programs, have seen a boom in business. NPR reports they are "now poised for even more growth, as baby boomers age and Congress prepares to insure more Americans. ..."
"The PBM industry emerged when health plans started covering prescriptions. Big insurers found negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to be a hassle, so PBMs began cropping up, offering to take that task off of their hands. Today, PBMs cover more than 200 million Americans. With the ability to create or eliminate large numbers of customers, Express Scripts scientist Bob Nease says, PBMs have the clout to check the power of drug companies." PBMs tend to push less-expensive generic drugs and encourage customers to use mail-order prescription companies (Sepic, 1/20).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.