Innovative PBM tools reduce prescription drug costs for consumers | PCMA offers to work with FDA chief Scott Gottlieb to address the opioid crisis | FDA commissioner vows action to boost generic-drug development
August 17, 2017
PCMA SmartBrief
News for the PBM Industry
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Innovative PBM tools reduce prescription drug costs for consumers
Pharmacy benefit managers offer patient-friendly cost-savings options such as home delivery of drugs for chronic conditions, writes Ed Pezalla, a scholar-in-residence at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy. "Through their expertise and market scale, PBMs are able to reduce drug costs by negotiating rebates and discounts from big drug companies and drugstores. It would be too expensive and complicated for employers, or other payers, to match PBMs' ability to reduce drug costs, while providing access," he writes.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal (Fla.) (8/16) 
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Legislative & Regulatory News
FDA commissioner vows action to boost generic-drug development
Makers of brand-name drugs "game the system and game the rules" of a patient safety program to prevent generic-drug makers from obtaining adequate samples for equivalence studies, says FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, who has vowed action to curb the practice.
USA Today (8/15) 
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More states, cities launch lawsuits against opioid makers, distributors
Cincinnati and South Carolina have joined other cities and states in taking legal action against pharmaceutical firms and distributors for allegedly fueling the opioid addiction crisis. Cincinnati filed a public nuisance lawsuit against McKesson, Cardinal Health and other major drug distributors for allegedly allowing large amounts of oxycodone and hydrocodone to flood the black market, while South Carolina sued opioid maker Purdue Pharma for deceptive marketing practices, saying the company inflates opioids' benefits while downplaying the drugs' addictive properties and the quality of newer abuse-deterrent drugs.
Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (8/16) 
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White House: US to make ACA payments for Aug.
Payments to insurers under the Affordable Care Act will be made this month, a White House spokesman says. President Donald Trump has said he might cut off payments.
CBS News (8/16) 
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PBM Industry News
Express Scripts sets limits on new opioid prescriptions
Express Scripts will limit new prescriptions for opioid drugs to seven days' worth, require that first-time prescriptions be for short-acting drugs, set dosage limits and monitor prescriptions for patterns of potential doctor-shopping. Patients with cancer and those in hospice or palliative care are exempt.
ABC News/The Associated Press (8/16) 
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Diplomat Pharmacy may move into PBM space
Diplomat Pharmacy's quarterly earnings report shows declining direct and indirect remuneration fees as a share of gross profit, and the specialty pharmacy "is signaling its intention to play a more significant role in the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) business," writes Pembroke Consulting President Adam Fein.
Drug Channels (8/16) 
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Drug Industry Spotlight
The mode in which the inevitable comes to pass is through effort.
Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.,
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About PCMA
PCMA is the national association representing America's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which administer prescription drug plans for more than 266 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D. PCMA is dedicated to enhancing the proven tools and techniques pioneered by PBMs that generate savings and access for consumers and payors.

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Charles Cote
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