Pharmacy benefit managers launch new ad campaign

Pharmacy benefit managers are launching a new ad campaign as Congress weighs a controversial merger between two of the industry’s biggest players.

Several lawmakers have raised questions about the proposed merger between Express Scripts and Medco, which would further consolidate the already shrinking competition among firms that manage prescription drug benefits.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association launched new ads Tuesday touting PBMs’ ability to lower prices for consumers and employers. PBMs negotiate discounts between drugmakers and pharmacies, while also pushing for wider use of generics and mail-order prescription plans.

Small pharmacies have a longstanding feud with PBMs, which push more business to mail-order and large pharmacy chains. Some critics of the Express Scripts-Medco merger have questioned whether consumers would actually see any savings.