April 2, 2013

Specialty drugs are expected to account for 50% of all drug costs by 2018, according to two new studies.

March 25, 2013

Kentucky became the first state to enact legislation that provides pharmacists with transparency into how health plans determine pharmacy reimbursements for generic drugs, and establishes an appeals process when a dispute arises over those payment levels.

March 15, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association endorsed H.R. 1188, legislation introduced by U.S. Reps. Tom Marino, R-Pa., and Judy Chu, D-Calif., that would allow independent community pharmacies to collectively negotiate.

March 13, 2013

Bills introduced in Oregon's state legislature would allow employers and other health plan sponsors to have greater knowledge about how pharmacy benefit managers determine the rates at which they pay pharmacies for dispensing generic drugs; establish new standards for pharmacy audits while requiring PBMs to register in the state and be licensed by the state board of pharmacy; and prevent health plans from requiring residents of the state to use mail-order pharmacies.

March 8, 2013

While the country's spending on specialty drugs increased by 18.4% in 2012, spending on traditional drugs fell for the first time in 20 years, according to a report by Express Scripts.

March 7, 2013

Employers that use multiple cost-management programs have a 50% lower specialty drug trend than those that don't use them, according to a new study by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.

March 6, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association joined the North Dakota Pharmacy Association in support of a pharmacy benefit manager transparency bill that was passed by the state assembly by a vote of 93-0 on Feb. 25.

February 28, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday submitted a statement for the record to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee for its hearing on “Fostering Innovation to Fight Waste, Fraud and Abuse in Health Care.”

February 28, 2013

Pharmacy benefit managers are becoming increasingly adept at leveraging the power of generics to save client healthcare dollars and improve their own standing, reports indicated.

February 25, 2013

The generic drug tidal wave became a tsunami in 2012, with some of the world's top-selling pharmaceuticals swamped by generic competition, and health plan payers scrambling to reap billions of dollars in financial savings.

February 20, 2013

Legislation that would require pharmacy benefit managers to seek licensure from the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy if they were to distribute medicines to Oklahoma residents was introduced on Tuesday, according to an AP report.

February 19, 2013

Anthem Blue Cross will indefinitely suspend a policy that would require many specialty pharmacy patients in California, most of them HIV patients, to receive their drugs via mail order in order to receive coverage for them, drawing criticism from patients and retail pharmacies.

February 19, 2013

Management of specialty drugs under the medical benefit continues to trail management under the pharmacy benefit, according to a new report by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute.

February 15, 2013

Eighty-eight members of the House of Representatives fired off a letter Monday to postmaster general and CEO of the U.S. Postal Service Patrick Donahoe urging the agency not to eliminate Saturday delivery of mail, saying it would impede the ability of people who depend on mail-order pharmacies to receive their medications.

It's no secret that the retail pharmacy industry and pharmacy benefit managers don't always see eye-to-eye, with the latter being the main provider of mail-order pharmacy services in the country and often touting them as an alternative to going to the drug store, while the former emphasize the face-to-face interaction with pharmacists not usually possible with mail-order. But between the back-and-forth, millions of patients still depend on mail order pharmacy, and the cost effectiveness that mail-order pharmacies frequently promote themselves as offering could be at risk if they must use more expensive delivery methods.

February 6, 2013

CVS Caremark executives expressed optimism Wednesday morning as the company posted record fourth-quarter results, raised its 2013 guidance and continues to work to leverage its distinctive business model to help people on their path to better health amid a rapidly changing healthcare environment.

January 31, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association urged Oregon state lawmakers to pass a series of bills that would "collectively reduce red tape for pharmacists caring for patients, give consumers greater pharmacy choice at no extra cost, and keep more revenue within the state."

January 23, 2013

Five pharmacies dominated prescription drug dispensing revenues in the United States last year, according to a new study.

January 18, 2013

Costco has entered the pharmacy benefit management business, according to published reports.

January 18, 2013

Costco announced in its January 2013 magazine that it would begin offering pharmacy benefit management services, targeting small businesses and highlighting a 200-employee company based in Washington state.

It remains to be seen whether the club retailer's efforts to compete with the existing PBM businesses of companies like CVS Caremark, Walgreens and Walmart will be successful, and analysts like Citi's Deborah Weinswig appear skeptical that they will. But whatever the outcome, it's clear that Costco is looking to compete in a bigger way.

January 8, 2013

Pharmacy benefit manager Catamaran Corp. hopes to expand business with client Cigna Corp. and foresees other opportunities, according to published reports.

December 20, 2012

Retail co-pays for drugs are on the rise across all drug types, according to a new study by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute.

December 12, 2012

Thousands of patients in Los Angeles with serious, chronic diseases could soon find themselves unable to get their drugs from community pharmacies, advocates for the pharmacies said.

November 28, 2012

Price inflation for the most commonly used branded drugs has been more than six times that of overall inflation for consumer goods since September 2011, according to a new report by pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.

November 6, 2012

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett last week signed into law S.B. 201, a bill that takes critical steps toward leveling the playing field between large pharmacy benefit managers and the mail-order pharmacies they own and local, independent community pharmacies.