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Watchdog Organization Releases Toolkit to Help Employers Navigate Pharmacy Benefits Contracts

WASHINGTON, March 4, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A watchdog organization released a tool today to help employers navigate the difficult process of negotiating contracts with the third-party administrators of prescription drug programs known as pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs).

Produced by Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT), the tool offers an in-depth look at the complexity of negotiating pharmacy benefits and includes information on the role of PBMs, common problems employers face, definitions of industry jargon, and information on rebates, verification and plan services. More information is available at

"We're proud to outfit employers with the tools they need to make sure contracts are fair and that they're not paying more than they should for prescription drugs," said Dave Marley , President of Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency.  "PBM contracts are complex.  They routinely fail to ensure that employers receive the cost savings that they expect when they pay for PBM services."

The difficulty of navigating employer-PBM contracts is compounded by similarly lopsided contracts between pharmacies and PBMs.  Often, pharmacists are contractually forbidden from telling the PBM's clients how much they receive for the same drug.  That lack of transparency gives the PBMs increased confidentiality to mark-up employers' prices.

Amidst the merger in April between two of the nation's largest pharmacy benefits managers, Express Scripts and Medco, and growing PBM involvement in Medicaid programs through "managed care" models, PUTT has advocated for increased PBM transparency and worked with benefits managers to construct and implement contracts which prohibit PBMs from marking-up drug costs.

PUTT produced the tool kit with research contributions from the Harrison Institute for Public Law at Georgetown University. The Institute has 40 years of experience assisting nonprofit organizations with their legal and policy needs.


Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency (PUTT) is an independent watchdog organization dedicated to exposing the role pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) play in driving up prescription drug costs for consumers and employers. PUTT is a growing coalition of independent pharmacists and pharmacy owners and a resource for employers, policy makers and members of the media. It is a not-for-profit organization funded by individual members, not corporations or other special interest groups. For more information visit

SOURCE Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency
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