Want to bring down drug prices? Go after the middleman

Source: The American Prospect
by David Dayen

“Ask any member of Congress what their constituents ask them about most and they’ll probably cite the high cost of prescription drugs. … But the battle over saving Obamacare has dominated Washington, leaving no room for considering improvements to the health system. Even the fixes now being discussed mostly fall under the heading of ameliorating individual market exchanges. Prescription drug costs are somehow seen as a separate issue. Where Congress won’t act, an angry public is stepping into the breach. An important set of lawsuits target one of the biggest causes of higher prices: the middlemen who game the pharmaceutical supply chain by extracting profits from practically every player. Eventually, that gouging gets passed down to consumers. … The middlemen are known as pharmacy benefit managers. … The lawsuit, however, demonstrates how PBMs put their profits first, and stick everyone else with the bill. The lawsuit, however, demonstrates how PBMs put their profits first, and stick everyone else with the bill.” [editor’s note: One more proper target; are “progressives” finally waking up to reality? – SAT] (08/11/17)

http://prospect.org/article/want-bring-down-drug-prices-go-after-middleman