Pharmacy Benefit Managers

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Middlemen who manage prescription drug benefits for health plans. They are unregulated and oligopolistic, taking a very large cut of revenue from pharmacies and customers. Because their methods are not transparent, drug companies, insurance companies and pharmacies don't even know how much they are paying these middle men.

Links

Invisible Middlemen Are Slowing Down American Health Care [More...]
"In stories about PBMs [pharmacy benefit managers], the word shadowy comes up, as does cockamamie. They don’t disclose publicly how much they profit from rebates, and there are so many players in any given health transaction that the buck is very easily passed on to someone else. "
The Hidden Monopolies That Raise Drug Prices: How pharmacy benefit managers morphed from processors to predators [More...]
"If you have drug coverage as part of your health plan, you are likely to carry a card with the name of a PBM on it. These middlemen manage prescription drug benefits for health plans, contracting with drug manufacturers and pharmacies in a multi-sided market. Over the past 30 years, PBMs have evolved from paper-pushers to significant controllers of the drug pricing system, a black box understood by almost no one. Lack of transparency, unjustifiable fees, and massive market consolidations have made PBMs among the most profitable corporations you’ve never heard about."

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