The Pharmacy Benefit is a podcast series from the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association. This podcast highlights the pharmacy benefit industry and the value pharmacy benefit companies bring to tens or millions of people throughout the country. We explore and discuss a wide variety of topics with experts and industry leaders.

A More Affordable Future Through Competition

PCMA Vice President, Policy, Angela Banks talks with health policy expert Alex Brill about competition in the prescription drug marketplace and why this is the best way to reduce prescription drug costs. They discuss recent reports on big drug companies gaming the patent system to increase prescription drug prices for American patients and families.

Alex Brill is a health policy researcher and the founder and CEO of Matrix Global Advisors, an economic consulting firm specializing in healthcare, tax, and fiscal policy.

PBMs and Diabetes Care

November is National Diabetes Month. In this conversation, hosted by PCMA’s Angela Banks, we discuss the work that PBMs are currently doing to help millions of patients with diabetes manage their care. Express Scripts’ Chief Medical Officer Dr. Christine Gilroy joins us as our guest.

Understanding Prescription Drug Rebates

Our focus is on prescription drug rebates. How do they work? Why do they work? How do they benefit consumers? And why are they currently under attack by some policymakers and drug manufacturers?

The guest is Alex Brill, a health policy researcher and the founder and CEO of Matrix Global Advisors, an economic consulting firm specializing in healthcare, tax, and fiscal policy. He has extensive health policy research experience and previously served on the staff of the House Ways and Means Committee and the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Alex is also the author of a recent research study entitled “Understanding Drug Rebates and Their Role in Promoting Competition.”

Competition in the PBM Marketplace

When it comes to lowering prescription drug costs, competition is key throughout the prescription drug supply chain.  If you’ve listened to some in Washington, you might be led to believe that there is very little competition in the PBM marketplace. On this episode, we talk with Jason Borschow, President and CEO of Abarca and Mike Ellis, CEO of Maxor who say that is simply not the case. Competition is very healthy in the industry.

PBM Care Coordination

Every day, PBMs are working to prevent potentially hazardous drug interactions, alerting their providers to potential problems, and monitoring patients’ adherence to drug regimens so that they can avoid hospital stays and live healthier lives.

On this episode, JC Scott talks with Dr. William Fleming, Segment President, Pharmacy Solutions & Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Humana, Inc. about all of the work PBMs do in the area of clinical care. If you’re listening to this podcast, you have insurance, and you’ve ever taken a prescription drug, we want you to have a clear idea of how your PBM works with your pharmacy and maybe even your provider behind the scenes between the time your prescription is ordered by a doctor to when the drug is in your hands.

Importance of PBMs in Health Care Costs

This episode highlights the important role that PBMs play in lowering prescription drug costs amid the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent interest in conducting a PBM study. The episode features Ross Margulies, a Partner with the law firm Foley Hoag. Mr. Margulies outlines the role that PBMs play in Medicare, and how PBM tools and technology are working to lower drug costs for patients as well as improving their pharmacy experience.