PBMs Can Do Little to Prevent, Mitigate Drug Shortages, Experts Say

Drug shortages have grabbed headlines in recent months, with patients struggling to fill prescription medications that treat conditions including asthma and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and providers struggling to stock and administer specialty drugs, especially in oncology. Experts tell AIS Health, a division of MMIT, that PBMs don’t have an abundance of options to ameliorate the shortages and may be unlikely to try the limited workarounds that they do have.

New research prepared for the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) by researchers from the University of Utah found that 301 drug shortages were in effect by the end of the first quarter of the year — a five-year high.

© 2024 MMIT
Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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