‘Delinking’ PBM Pay From Drug Prices Comes With High Cost, Economist Argues

A bill that “delinks” PBM pay from drug list prices and utilization in Medicare Part D could “shift billions of dollars annually from patients and taxpayers to drug manufacturers and retail pharmacy companies,” according to a new paper funded by the PBM industry’s main trade group. However, some experts argue that the research may not offer a completely accurate assessment, even if it makes some valid points.

“I’m a little bit of two minds on this paper,” says Matthew Feidler, a senior fellow at The Brookings Institution’s Schaeffer Initiative on Health Policy. Feidler, who was not involved in the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) paper, recently coauthored an issue brief assessing the current landscape of PBM reform proposals.

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Leslie Small

Leslie Small

Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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