CVS Exec Says Employers ‘Shape the Economics’ of PBMs

  • Jun 08, 2023

    With the Federal Trade Commission investigating major PBMs’ business practices and reform measures gaining momentum in Congress, executives of the country’s three largest PBMs have been busy assuring investors and analysts that they can withstand the heat. The recent Bernstein Strategic Decision Conference proved no exception, as CVS Health Corp.’s chief financial officer made the case there that employers and health plans — rather than PBMs — are in the driver’s seat when it comes to deciding how contracts are written.  

    Industry experts tell AIS Health, a division of MMIT, that while it is true that some employers may prefer the status quo, that’s certainly not the case universally. And they say the argument that employers and health plans use “sophisticated consultants” ignores the fact that those same consultants can get paid hefty sums by PBMs when they win contracts. 

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  • Leslie Small

    Leslie has been working in journalism since 2009 and reporting on the health care industry since 2014. She has covered the many ups and downs of the Affordable Care Act exchanges, the failed health insurer mega-mergers, and hundreds of other storylines spanning subjects such as Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage, employer-sponsored insurance, and prescription drug coverage. As the managing editor of Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits, she writes and edits for both publications while overseeing a small team of reporters who also focus on the managed care sector. Before joining AIS Health, she was a senior editor for the e-newsletter Fierce Health Payer, and she started her career as a copy editor at multiple local newspapers. She graduated with a dual degree in journalism and political science from Penn State University.

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