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Nefarious PBM practices

I strongly support Jeff Rochon’s op-ed, “Regulate unseen drug cost driver (March 11).” He describes the predatory and dangerous activities of the pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) as middle men between patients, drug and insurance companies. Senate Bill 5857 is designed to regulate the practices of the PBMs.

There is another nefarious practice of PBMs that Rochon didn’t mention. In an article, “Break up the insulin racket,” in the Feb. 20 New York Times, it states that while the PBMs negotiate prices with drug manufacturers, they also get “rebates.” These are suspiciously like “kickbacks” and are hidden from view, but contribute to the huge profitability of the PBMs.

Also cited in the article is an estimate by industry analysts that half of the list price of insulin is from these “rebates.” The article also shows that the insulin price rose nearly 200 percent from 2010 to 2015.

It is also worth noting the big drug companies and PBMs are major contributors to the prostitution of our federal and state legislators. It is too bad we don’t have equally funded patient advocates to represent us to these legislators.

Bob Webb


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