Employers Say Pharmacy Benefit Manager Contracts too Complex, Opaque

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Three in five employers think their contracts with pharmacy benefit managers are overly complex and not transparent, according to a new study. The study, which found that employers would prefer that PBMs are more transparent with their pricing and would like them to focus less on rebates and value-based designs, comes as PBMs are under increased scrutiny for their opaque pricing practices. The survey of 88 very large employers, “Toward Better Value: Employer Perspectives on What’s Wrong with the Management of Prescription Drug Benefits and How to Fix It,” was conducted by Benfield and commission by the National Pharmaceutical Council….
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Pharmacy Benefit Managers: A Brake on Rising Prescription Costs or a Cause of Them?

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In 2015, spending on prescription drugs grew 9%, faster than any other category of health care spending, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The report cited increased use of new medicines, price increases for existing ones, and more spending on generic drugs as the reasons for this growth. Increasingly, though, observers of the health care system point to one player – the pharmacy benefit manager. PBMs are intermediaries, acting as go-betweens for insurance companies, self-insured employers, drug manufacturers and pharmacies. They can handle prescription claims administration for insurers and employers, facilitate mail-order drug delivery, market drugs…
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Measure Aims to Reduce Unnecessary Opioid Prescriptions

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Employers and insurers in California are enthusiastic about the prospects of legislation that aims to reduce the chances of injured workers getting hooked on opioids when they are recovering from workplace injuries. Senate Bill 482, which is sailing the through the Legislature, would require doctors to first check the state’s prescription drug monitoring system before writing a prescription for opioids. The bill is moving through the state Legislature after a new study found that doctors have been seriously curtailing the amount of opioid prescriptions they write to injured workers. The study found that stronger laws on prescription drug monitoring were…
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