‘The PBMs don’t care’

NCPA November 17, 2021

NCPA member Jonathan Grider testified at a congressional forum Wednesday that focused on the role of PBMs in increasing drug prices. Grider is a third-generation pharmacist and owner of Lake Cumberland Pharmacy, with two locations in Russell Springs, Ky. His retail pharmacies serve a rural county with a population of roughly 15,000 people with limited access to care. “As Congress reviews the rising costs of prescription drugs in America, we must evaluate all aspects that are driving up costs for patients,” said House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) He added that the review includes the role PBMs play in drug pricing and patient cost sharing because there is concern that PBMs may use their market power drive up drug costs. When Comer asked Grider why he just doesn’t decline to sign a “take-it-or-leave-it” contract with PBMs, Grider explained that there is no negotiation involved. “PBMs could care less if you sign the contract,” he said. “If you don’t sign, they’ll just steer their patients to their own pharmacy or to mail order. The PBMs don’t care. They set the rules, they set the terms, they set the reimbursements.” You can watch the forum here.