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PBMs: When Competition Does Not Benefit Consumers

In recent years, the practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), initially formed to foster competition in the pharmaceutical market and help control drug costs, have been recognized instead as drivers of drug prices in the United States. The issue has even piqued the interest of the highest levels of government, with a recent US House Committee on Oversight and Accountability hearing highlighting self-benefitting, anticompetitive, and opaque practices that providers have been flagging for years.

In a session held during the 2023 Patient-Centered Oncology Care® meeting, Erin Trish, PhD, co-director of the USC Schaeffer Center and associate professor of pharmaceutical and health economics, University of Southern California in Los Angeles, fielded questions about the PBM landscape from Stephen Schleicher, MD, MBA, chief medical officer at Tennessee Oncology. The discussion, titled “Fireside Chat: Navigating the PBM Landscape: How a Heath Care Economist Sees It,” provided a fresh perspective on the topic for an audience of oncology stakeholders.

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