When it comes to the price of their products, drug companies want the public to ignore what they spend on marketing and the tax breaks they get for direct-to-consumer advertising. Instead of acknowledging their pricing strategies, drug companies have launched a finger-pointing campaign at pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).
The basic fact: Drug companies set the price of a drug. They can charge whatever they feel the market will bear. To combat these massive price hikes, PBMs are hired by employers, unions and health plans to negotiate lower drug costs.
With skyrocketing drug prices, some employers and insurers providing coverage are being forced to involve consumers through benefit designs that include higher deductibles or increased cost-sharing health plans. In turn, drugmakers are blaming insurers for their benefit designs instead of taking responsibility for the pricing of their drugs.
One thing is for sure: PBMs will negotiate deeper discounts and rebates in an effort to shield America’s consumers from high drug prices.
JOHN D. JONES
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