Are 'middle men' the culprit?

Thursday, December 6, 2018
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

pharmacy pharmacistsIn today's political climate, consumers may think it's impossible for Republicans and Democrats to agree on anything. But OneNewsNow spoke with someone who thinks both parties can work together to lower drug prices.

"One of the real hidden costs that we've been seeing [in drug prices] is the role that the pharmacy benefit mangers (PBMs) play," says Jeff Stier, senior fellow at the Consumer Choice Center. "Those are the middle men who negotiate between the drug companies – the companies that innovate, that make the drugs we so badly need – and our insurance companies."

Having such "go-betweens" may sound like a great thing to have, but following two recent mergers, Stier says all major PBMs are now part of the health insurance industry.

Stier

That causes Stier to question whether PBMs are playing a crucial role in containing medical costs for patients. "Or, are they so conflicted – because they take a share of rebates offered by pharmaceutical companies – that they are incentivized to keep prices high?" he wonders.

But to answer that, Stier says, will require more transparency through the entire supply chain to show whether consumers are, in fact, benefiting from negotiations.

"There are changes we can do to find some common ground," he shares, "and common ground, I think, would be necessary to actually lower the price of drugs without stifling innovation."

Democrats have tossed around the of price controls, but Republicans and center-right special interest groups fear that could lead to less research and development.

Read Jeff Stier's column on this issue

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

It appears Democrats view healthcare as the major issue for the 2020 election – do you agree?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Iran dismisses US allegation it was behind Saudi oil attacks
Police: Owner blew up house on his daughter's wedding day
Cleanup resumes in Bahamas as Humberto swirls away
Several injured when decks collapse during firefighter event
Trump backs a Netanyahu priority ahead of Israeli election
White House says bin Laden son killed in US operation
In Alaska hometown, Native women say police ignored rapes
Skirmishes break out in Hong Kong mall amid counter rallies

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Defiant Iran blasts Pompeo’s Saudi-attack accusations as ‘blind and futile comments’
John Bolton resigned after President Trump suggested going easy on Iran, report says
NY Times sparks furor with tweet describing alleged Kavanaugh behavior as 'harmless fun'
Pompeo accuses Iran of 'unprecedented attack' after drones hit Saudi oil facilities
Trump, Saudi Crown Prince speak on refinery attack, SPA says

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
Felblum doesn't respect the First Amendment, says AFA

EEOC bannerA non-profit organization that equips individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture is urging President Trump to withdraw a nomination for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.