Senators Pull Few Punches at PBM Execs During Insulin-Cost Hearing

During a May 10 hearing held by a key Senate committee — one day before that same committee advanced a PBM reform bill — politicians laid blame at the feet of both PBMs and drugmakers for the fact that high out-of-pocket costs for insulin and other medications have kept many Americans from accessing lifesaving therapies. But it was PBMs that received the sharpest criticism — including some memorable comments from Sen. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.).

“I kind of feel like hell’s freezing over because Chairman [Bernie] Sanders and I actually agree on something, and it’s that something needs to be done with PBMs,” Mullin said during the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee hearing titled “The Need to Make Insulin Affordable for All Americans.”

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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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