Patients, the ultimate healthcare arbiter, continue to bear the costs from the perverse incentives driving the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) market. Because of these disincentives patients pay excessive out-of-pocket costs. Just as troubling, the misaligned incentives create impediments that dictate where patients can fill their prescriptions and which prescriptions they can take.
This is not how an efficient healthcare system operates. Proposals currently under consideration by Congress, including the Delinking Revenue from Unfair Gouging Act and the Modernizing and Ensuring PBM Accountability Act, would help alleviate several of the resulting anti-market outcomes that are harming patients.
Competitive well-functioning markets empower customers to choose which supplier they want to patronize and encourage suppliers to offer a diverse range of products. Applied to pharmacies, patients can often choose between a large national pharmacy chain and a small local pharmacy. Both have their advantages.