Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, could save South Carolina consumers, businesses, labor unions and government programs more than $10 billion, according to a new report.
The report, conducted by health care consulting firm Visante, was released by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA), the association that represents PBMs.
In South Carolina, the new report finds that PBMs will save commercial and private insurance plans $5.3 billion and will lower Medicare costs by more than $4 billion.
The report release is part of a new public education campaign that PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt says is designed to raise awareness of the solutions provided by PBMs to help address concerns over rising prescription drug prices.
“This campaign is focused on educating policymakers and opinion leaders on how PBMs reduce costs, expand access, and improve the quality of prescription drug benefits for more than 266 million Americans,” said Merritt.
PBMs administer prescription drug benefits for government programs, such as Medicare Part D, as well as commercial and private health insurers. Merritt said the industry helps reduce drug costs through a variety of means, such as “Amazon.com-style” mail-service delivery of medicines, negotiating rebates from drug makers and discounts from drugstores, encouraging greater use of generics, and creating preferred networks of lower-cost, high-quality pharmacies.
PCMA has launched a new Web site, www.ThatsWhatPBMsDo.com, and will be running ads to educate consumers, businesses and elected officials about the benefits of PBMs.
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