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PBM execs say competition, biosimilars are solutions to lowering drug prices

April 09, 2019 / Susan Morse

As the Ways and Means Committee today unanimously advanced prescription drug pricing legislation, the Senate Finance Committee both told and asked executives from five of the country's largest pharmacy benefit managers what should be done to lower costs. The executives from Cigna, CVS Health and Caremark, Humana, OptumRx and Prime Therapeutics, all said more drug competition is needed, and a faster introduction of biosimilars. When there's more competition, PBMs can bring down drug prices, they said. Currently biosimilars are held up in the law, said Dr. Steve Miller, executive vice president and chief clinical officer for Cigna, which late last year completed its acquisition of PBM Express Scripts. The period of exclusivity needs to be shortened, said Miller, a former executive for Express Scripts. When biosimilars come to the market, Cigna and Express Scripts often take great advantage to lower the cost of drugs, he said.