An effort to shed more light on a little-scrutinized part of the prescription drug supply chain — pharmacy benefit managers — sputtered on Thursday after facing concerns from the Brown administration.
Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, such as Express Scripts or CVS Caremark, act as go-betweens connecting drug makers and purchasers, such as health plans and consumers. By negotiating in bulk with manufacturers, PBMs claim they can secure steep discounts, which can be passed on to purchasers.
But drug makers and consumers alike have said there is little assurance that such savings actually reach consumers. As concerns continue to mount about high prescription prices, PBMs have increasingly been scrutinized.