10 May Pharmaceutical Commerce: PCMA President Mark Merritt Discusses Drug Prices, other Key Issues
As befits the sizable part of the US economy that healthcare represents, its major sectors—hospital providers, insurers, medical professional societies and the pharma industry—all have a prominent role in Washington. An important player in that scene are pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The industry’s trade association, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Assn. PBM’s roots (and PCMA) can be traced back decades, but the business has changed dramatically in the 21st century. According to PCMA literature, their benefit-management practices touch the lives of 266 million Americans, primarily as the buying agent for pharmaceutical products paid for by insurance companies, employer health plans and senior citizens under the Medicare Part D benefit. The organization has just launched an outreach program (www.ThatsWhatPBMsDo.com) to educate consumers and customers.