What does PBM stand for? In many states, it's programs bilking millions

June 2018 -- Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, are supposed to help control costs for payers and lower out-of-pocket costs for plan members. But as a team of investigative journalists with the Columbus Dispatch are revealing, some pharmacy benefit managers are skimming hundreds of millions of dollars in Ohio alone, boosting drug costs for everyone.

Pharmacy benefit managers market themselves as keen negotiators able to squeeze pharmaceutical manufacturers for better deals that save money for insurers, patients, and society. Yet they are turning out to be little more than middlemen, adding scant value but significantly increasing costs. They have no fiduciary responsibility to their customers.

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