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New Survey: 9 in 10 Employers Value Full Range of PBM Contract Options


Findings highlight direct negative impacts to employers and employees of current legislative proposals that limit PBM capabilities

Washington D.C., October 5, 2023 – The Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD) released a groundbreaking new poll today showing that employers value their pharmacy benefit manager (PBM). By high margins, employers say they place enormous value on having the option to choose the type of coverage that meets the unique needs of their employees.    

The polling comes as Congress considers legislation that explicitly limits the flexibility and choices employers overwhelmingly value in how they design and pay for their prescription drug benefits, including through traditional – or “spread” — pricing contracts. The poll also sheds light on how employers feel about the value of rebates and the level of PBM transparency. 

Key findings include:

  • 89% of employers say their PBM is valuable in helping their organization offer affordable benefits to employees.
    • 97% of those who contract directly for pharmacy benefit services are satisfied with their PBM.
  • 93% of employers say it is essential to have flexibility and a range of choices in how they offer prescription drug benefits to employees, with 86% of employers saying it is important to have a range of options in how they pay PBMs for their services and expertise.
    • The same number (86%) say it is important to have flexibility in how their organization manages the financial risk related to prescription drug spending, providing a basis for the choice that nearly one in three employers make in paying for their PBM services through the use of “spread” or risk-mitigation/predictable pricing.
  • 91% of employers say it is important to have flexibility and choice in how their organization uses rebate dollars.
  • 90% of employers who receive rebates from PBMs use those rebates to the benefit of employees, including lowering employee spending on benefits and enhancing coverage. 
  • 89% of employers who use a PBM describe their contract as transparent, with 43% describing their contract as “very transparent.”

“As businesses grapple with the high prices of prescription drugs, they are working harder than ever to continue to provide high-quality drug benefits to employees and their families,” said Maura Keefe, CAPD Spokesperson. “We can now say with confidence that the professionals who manage those benefits understand that without flexibility and choice, employers and their employees are going to be hit with higher drug prices, which translates to more expensive monthly insurance premiums, higher copays at the pharmacy counter and less comprehensive benefit offerings overall.” 

These findings are from a national online survey among 706 employers with 50+ employees who offer prescription drug benefits to employees. The survey was conducted from August 29th to September 14th, 2023.

You can read the full findings memo here.

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The Coalition for Affordable Prescription Drugs (CAPD) represents a diverse group of public and private employers, retirees, unions, and the pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) they partner with to provide affordable, sustainable prescription drug coverage to their employees and members.

Media Contact:

Cassie Chechile