Cigna CEO defends PBMs, saying the role has evolved 

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David Cordani, CEO of Cigna, defended the role of pharmacy benefit managers, arguing that the traditional PBM is a relic of yesterday, reported Yahoo Finance Jan. 12. 

In a conversation with Yahoo Finance, Mr.Cordani defended pharmacy benefit managers from critics who call them middlemen in drug pricing strategies responsible for price increases. 

"I believe very passionately that pharmacy benefit managers and the legacy of those have created a lot of value from a societal standpoint. Access to care, care coordination programs, the movement from brand to generic was led by the PBMs long before Cigna and Express Scripts came together, " he said. 

He argues that the traditional PBM is the PBM of yesterday, saying the role has evolved. 

"If you think about a traditional definition of what a PBM does, most people view that a PBM would work with the manufacturers to contract for access to certain services, sell those services — supply chain management and access to care," he said.

Now though, he says, the industry has moved to a place where over 75 percent of relationships have full transparency funding mechanisms, and for rebates it can be above 90 percent. He argues this is a prime example of how the industry has changed. 

"We exist in a society where more and more each and every day, pharmaceuticals are becoming a larger part of the overall care equation," he told Yahoo.

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