Talking Points: 4 September 2023

A quick roundup of the issues driving the healthcare reform conversation.

Item of the Week


PBM SAVINGS A recent analysis shows the government missed out on hundreds of millions of dollars of savings.

Quick takeaway: By failing to use a pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) to negotiate better prices, the Department of Labor (DOL) overspent on prescription drugs by $321.3 million from 2015 to 2020 for federal employees.

Digging deeper: According to a recent Inspector General report, not only did the DOL miss out on those savings, but without a PBM to ensure patient safety, thousands of incorrect prescriptions were provided to individuals. 

The report also found that the DOL spent hundreds of millions of dollars on drugs that may not have been appropriate or necessary.

What they’re saying: A growing chorus of voices has spoken out in defense of the critical role that PBMs play in the drug supply chain connecting consumers to affordable prescription drugs, while improving outcomes and enhancing patient safety, including industry stakeholders, elected officials, small business owners, independent pharmacists, health policy experts, and economists.

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The Health Action Network includes everyday Americans—families, workers, businesses, patients, providers, neighbors, and friends. We are working together because we support market-based solutions that offer better healthcare choices and help build a stronger economy. The Health Action Network is an Elevance Health, Inc., initiative.