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Understanding PBMs (Guest: Dr. Matthew Stryker)

May 1, 2019

Dr. Matthew Stryker, a doctor of pharmacy at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Services, talks about his latest op-ed for Fox News entitled, "Who Profits From Drug Price Decreases?"

Dr. Stryker noticed while working on billing for his free cardiovascular risk reduction service at a local clinic that some drug manufacturers had worked to bring down the list prices for common drugs prescribed for his patients. However, he simultaneously noticed that despite these encouraging signs from drug manufacturers, at least one PBM had refused to make one of the drugs available at the lower list price, and with no explanation why.

In fact, Dr. Stryker said that the PBMs were simply asking doctors like himself if they would be ok prescribing at the higher list price. It led to his penning the op-ed in which he writes that, "President Trump has made drug pricing transparency a focus of his efforts to reduce costs for patients. Congress must also push for greater transparency in PBM pricing, and demand that these companies pass any and all drug savings along to consumers and taxpayers."

Dr. Stryker joins the Health Care News podcast to discuss his op-ed and what he would like to see happen to ensure consumers are made aware of drug savings they could be getting, but aren't due to arbitrary preferences from PBMs.

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Sarah Lee is a policy advisor for health care and a host of Heartland's Health Care News podcast.
Doctor of Pharmacy, Matthew Stryker, is a clinical pharmacist at Albany Medical Center and an assistant professor at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences with a focus on ambulatory care and endocrinology.