Where's The Vaccine?
2021. So far for pharmacies, it's been a wild ride. The much anticipated advent of the COVID vaccine(s) has spawned additional issues with rollout and availability capabilities - many of which can be tied back to misinformation, corporate territorialism and lack of proper planning.
Does anyone else hear a common PBM theme here?
States that are excelling in the vaccination effort are those including their local independent pharmacies in all phases of distribution. In an MSNBC interview this month, West Virginia Governor Jim Justice noted that, “instead of letting vaccines sit on shelves we saw that our elderly wanted to go to their local pharmacies and clinics… We incorporated everybody together… and said we’re not going to let vaccines sit on shelves.” And, in a January interview on Face the Nation, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson remarked, “Our independent pharmacies are doing a better job of getting it (the vaccine) out. They’re acting with more urgency than the chain pharmacies.”
The facts are that the CVS/Walgreens partnership was allocated more than 4.7 million doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, but as of mid-January -- a month after rollout began in many states -- had only administered a quarter of those vaccines.
ACROSS THE NATION
Cautionary tale: Plan sponsors losing manufacturer rebate dollars to PBMs through rebate aggregators
April 15, 2021
Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) have created opaque manufacturer rebate arrangements, either directly or through wholly owned subsidiaries. These subsidiaries, known as “rebate aggregators,” cost plan sponsors, beneficiaries and taxpayers staggering sums of money. A growing number of examples of PBMs causing economic harm to plan sponsors through rebate aggregators is publicly emerging.
In one such example, Lehigh County’s audit report revealed a typical one-sided PBM contract term that has caused many plans to lose rebate revenue. Information asymmetry is to the advantage of PBM Rebate Aggregators and to the detriment of plan sponsors. Plans should be aware of rebate arrangements and learn from Lehigh’s audit experience. PBMs generally offer two manufacturer rebate models. In a “pass-through” model, PBMs purport to relay 100% of rebates PBMs received back to the Plan, but in reality, PBM-owned rebate aggregators are known to retain a significant amount of manufacturer rebates.