Jeff Stier of the Consumer Choice Center has mixed opinions.
“Senator Braun’s is an attempt to solve or address the problem of PBMs, pharmacy benefit managers who are not passing along price reductions instituted by the pharmaceuticals along to the consumers, so there is a real problem there,” Stier begins. “I as a freemarketer am never pleased to see legislation that bans behavior between two companies, so if a PBM gets rebates from drug companies, that may be how they operate their business.”
In what Stier describes as his ideal world, the consumer could choose whether to engage with that business model.
“However, we don’t live in a healthcare environment that’s free market; it’s extremely regulated,” he continues. “It’s kind of like a ball of string with knots in it, and I think this proposal addresses one of the really ugly knots, but I think more needs to be done to untangle it so that we have something that serves consumers, that advances public health, that looks more like a free market.”