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PCMA Launches New Maryland Ad Campaign: 'That's What PBMs Do'

WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) has launched a new ad campaign in Maryland that highlights the core value proposition of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).  The ad campaign – "That's What PBMs Do" – focuses on key themes including:

  • PBMs lower costs for employers, unions, and consumers.
  • PBM mail-service pharmacies improve safety, savings, and convenience.
  • PBMs help patients make informed prescription drug decisions and improve adherence.

"This ad campaign will educate key Maryland decision makers about the important savings and safety benefits PBMs provide to employers, unions, and consumers," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.

Click here to view the new ads.

PBMs will save Maryland consumers and payers $39 billion in prescription drug costs – a 35 percent savings – over the next decade.   In addition to the ad campaign, a new PCMA video highlights the innovative tools and programs PBMs use to make prescription medications safer and more affordable for 216 million Americans with health coverage provided through Fortune 500 employers, health insurance plans, labor unions, and Medicare Part D.

View the new video here. 

PBMs improve safety and savings in several ways:

  • Negotiating Discounts from Drugstores and Drug Manufacturers: Retail pharmacies provide discounts to be included in a plan's pharmacy network.  The more selective the network, the greater the discount, since each pharmacy will gain business. PBMs negotiate rebates from manufacturers of brand drugs that compete with therapeutically similar brands and generics. Manufacturers typically provide a rebate if their product is "preferred," which means it is assigned a copay lower than competing products.
  • Offering Home Delivery of Medicines: Mail-service and specialty pharmacy channels typically give plan sponsors deeper discounts than do retail pharmacies.  These channels also help encourage the use of preferred products for additional savings.
  • Encouraging Use of Generics and Less Expensive Brands: PBMs use several tools to encourage the use of generic drugs and preferred brands. These include: formularies and tiered cost sharing, prior authorization and step therapy protocols, generic incentives, consumer education, and physician outreach.  As PBMs and plan sponsors strive for greater savings, drug mix becomes even more important.
  • Using Cutting-Edge Tools to Improve Adherence: PBMs use Drug Utilization Review (DUR) to reduce waste such as polypharmacy and implement patient adherence programs to help patients stick to their prescription regimens. Both programs improve clinical outcomes and influence prescription volume and expenditures.
  • Improving Quality and Safety:  PBMs promote the use of technology like e-prescribing to improve quality and safety by preventing drug duplication and dangerous drug-to-drug interactions.

PCMA represents the nation's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which improve affordability and quality of care through the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), generic alternatives, mail-service pharmacies, and other innovative tools for 216 million Americans.

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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
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