The Pharmacy Benefit Brief | August 2021


Welcome to the Pharmacy Benefit Brief. This brief is your monthly snapshot of news from America’s prescription drug supply chain including pharmacy benefit managers, independent pharmacies, and drug manufacturers.




PBMS ARE REDUCING PRESCRIPTION DRUG COSTS FOR PATIENTS… We hope this summer has allowed you some fun in the sun. For this month’s, The Pharmacy Benefit Brief, we thought we’d refresh a couple important items from past issues.

As we have reported in the past: The core mission for Pharmacy Benefit Mangers, PBMs, is to reduce prescription drug costs for patients and health care plan sponsors. In fact, PBMs are the only member of the prescription drug supply and payment chain working to reduce drug costs.

To get more information on how PBMs achieve these savings, read “Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs): Generating Savings for Plan Sponsors and Consumers.

A key data point from this report: From 2020 to 2029, the current use of PBM tools in the marketplace will save health plan sponsors and over 266 million patients with health insurance more than $1 trillion on prescription drug costs.

A FRIENDLY REMINDER… Lowering prescription drug costs isn’t an easy job. Drug manufacturers are setting higher and higher prices, and patients continue to need medications – so PBMs have a tough job and need their cost-saving tools in order to continue providing savings.

Legislative and regulatory mandates that restrict PBM cost-saving tools increase prescription drug costs for patients and plan sponsors. Take a look at a paper, Increased Costs Associated With Proposed State Legislation Impacting PBM Tools, that estimates the potential increase of Rx costs from prevalent state legislation across the U.S.



Did You Know?

Pharmacy Services Administrative Organizations, PSAOs, play an important role in prescription drug supply chain. A PSAO is an entity, often associated with large scale drug wholesalers, that work behind-the-scenes on behalf of tens of thousands independent pharmacies by negotiating PBM contracts and providing other services that help pharmacies operate successfully.


83% of independent pharmacies utilize the services of a PSAO to do their contract negotiations with PBMs.

A report provides an easy-to-understand explanation of PSAOs and their connection with independent pharmacies. Take a moment to read: “Pharmacy Services Administrative Organizations (PSAOs) and Their Little-Known Connections to Independent Pharmacies.”



What is a PBM?

What is a PBM? Watch the short video here.