My Public Comment
Today at 10:54 PM
PBMs are robbing Americans, with help from Pharma and Insurers, by rigging the system so that they receive outrageous secret legalized kickbacks. This practice is intentionally opaque and complex to sustain it. What other industry has middlemen pocketing money in the form of kickbacks? How did we function before PBMs - ExpressScripts, CVSCaremark, and OptumRX - entered as superfluous middlemen? I’m old enough to remember when patients paid a higher copay or portion for more expensive branded drugs and lower for generics. That’s a free (or closer to free) market system whereby the consumer has skin in the game. It allows for competition and drives prices down. Generics were predictably less costly. Drug prices were actually reasonable. The past 5+ years have proven to be disastrous. PBMs incentivize Pharma to INCREASE their list price, competing for top tier placement on insurance formularies, because PBM kickbacks are based on the list price- the higher the list price the more these unnecessary middlemen pocket. Our legislators must act. Delayed, partial transparency may be a token step forward I’m afraid and simply kick the can down the road, but transparency is needed. This is no longer under the radar. Prescribing physicians know. Patients know. Legislators know. I thank Senator John Cornyn and others for pushing for transparency and an end to this malarkey.