63% of employers say PBMs not transparent about how they make money

Many U.S. employers are concerned about their pharmacy benefit manufacturer's level of transparency, contract complexity and rebate process, according to a report conducted by Benfield on behalf of the National Pharmaceutical Council.

Researchers interviewed eight industry experts, including employers, PBMs and pharmacists. Researchers also surveyed health benefit leaders from 88 large U.S. employers in the first quarter of 2017 and later conducted follow-up interviews with eight of the survey participants.

Here are four survey findings to know.

1. Only 30 percent of respondents said they understand the details of their PBM contracts, and 40 percent said they understand their PBM's performance guarantees.

2. Sixty-three percent of respondents felt PBMs are not transparent about how they make money.

3. Fifty-eight percent of respondents thought contracts are too complicated and ambiguous, often benefiting the PBM at the employer's expense.

4. Most employers (69 percent) said they want to see PBMs implement an alternative to rebates, such as discounts or point-of-sale rebates, reflected in the patient payment.

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