The First Shot Fired at PBMs

The Ohio Department of Medicaid officials directed the state’s five managed care plans Tuesday to terminate contracts with pharmacy benefit managers using the secretive pricing method and move to a more transparent pass-through pricing model effective Jan. 1.  Wait, what?  You mean that the government can actually understand the free market and remove the middlemen?  Yup.

The story of PBMs is kind of a fantasy tale.  They started as one-cellular organisms and then grew into a bunch of Godzillas.  In fact, they were making so much money and doing so little that the insurance companies bought them up.  You know, a parasite eating another parasite to become a bigger parasite.  If want to read more about them then see this article.

Transparency is good and it shines the light on the cockroaches but it doesn’t kill them.  There needs to be action for that and that is what the Ohio Department of Medicaid seems to be doing.  Now this needs to spread to all states.  Let’s just hope this first shot fired is not the last.


Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected]