The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) reports there were currently 15,000 attendees representing 106 countries at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Chicago and more than 3,000 abstracts on exhibit. Also on tap: session after session highlighting the newest research and filling in information gaps, and the Arthritis Foundation’s Patient Reps are hard at work going to them and reporting back with their findings and impressions.
Donna Dernier attended a session called “Mechanics of PBMs and Patient Access to Medications.” PBMs, which stands for Pharmacy Benefit Managers, are the groups that work between drug manufacturers and health insurance plans that decide which drugs are in the plans’ formulary, how much they will cost and who will have access. “They are totally opaque, powerful, they use a system of rebates and fees to set the prices. They are largely unregulated,” says Dernier. Thanks to long, complicated forms that medical practices have to fill out, “Lots of practices cannot handle that workload and their patients lose out,” she says. Continue reading ACR 2018 Sessions Include Drug Pricing, OA Treatments, Diet as Therapy