Drug Rebates: How Pharmacy Benefit Managers Manipulate Price & Limit Choice

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on
LinkedIn
+

Join host Joe Selvaggi and his guest Dr. Bill Smith as they discuss the complex incentive structure between drug manufacturers, health plans, and pharmacy benefit managers. In this episode, they focus on how drug rebates work and how a system intended to optimize value may actually deliver higher costs and fewer choices. Joe and Bill also use this framework to speculate on the price of a COVID-19 vaccine, and who will likely pay for it.

Guest:

Dr. William Smith is Visiting Fellow in Life Sciences at Pioneer Institute. Bill has recently published a working paper entitled, Growing Drug Rebates Hurt Both Consumers and our Healthcare SystemHe is here to share with us his findings on how drug rebates work and how they affect which drugs we are prescribed and how much we pay. Bill has spent ten years at Pfizer as Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy, has been President of a medical device company,  and has had senior staff positions with U.S. Congressional House leadership, the White House, and in the Governor’s office in Massachusetts. He earned his PhD at the Catholic University of America and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

Get new episodes of Hubwonk in your inbox!

Related Content

Jawboning Free Speech: State Coercion Finds Limits at Supreme Court

Joe Selvaggi talks with Cato Institute legal scholar Thomas Berry about the effects of the 9-0 Supreme Court decision in NRA v. Vullo on states' ability to use regulation to target disfavored free speech.

Protectionism’s Bipartisan Embrace: Who Pays When Imports Cost More

Joe Selvaggi talks with international tax and trade expert Clark Packard about the tension between the economic and political calculus behind the Biden administration's recently announced tariffs on Chinese products, including EVs, batteries, and steel.

Universal Savings Accounts: Designing Tax Incentives that Pay to Save

Joe Selvaggi talks with CATO Institute’s Dr. Adam Michel about the opportunity for tax reforms that promote individual savings, an important foundation for economic growth, personal well-being, and intergenerational support.

Precision Law Enforcement: Can Gunfire Detection Technology Serve and Protect Everyone?

Joe Selvaggi talks with SoundThinking's Senior Vice President Tom Chittum about gunfire location technology promises and pitfalls when deployed by law enforcement in high-crime communities.

Examining Diversity’s Dividends: Can Studies Survive Contact with Peer Review

Joe Selvaggi talks with business data scientist Dr. Jeremiah Green about his peer review work examining consulting firm McKinsey’s studies on the measurable financial benefits of diversity in corporate executive leadership.

Promoting Policy Probity: Confessions of Hubwonk’s Humble Host at 200

Hubwonk's Joe Selvaggi marks episode 200 with a solo podcast that offers some backstory of his journey to becoming a host and offers some insights learned from more than 4 years of interviews.

Losing Local Labor: Retaining Workers Remains a Massachusetts Challenge

Joe Selvaggi talks with Pioneer Institute's Research Associate Aidan Enright about Pioneer's annual report on the Massachusetts labor force and discuss which trends could portend trouble for the state’s future.

Tax Man Confounded: Why High Rates Haven’t Yielded Higher Revenue

Joe Selvaggi talks with economic scholar Dr. Brian Domitrovic about the history of federal tax policy and the reasons for why varied marginal rates fail to correlate with either tax revenue or GDP growth.

Industrial Policy Reimaged: Can Government Improve Free Markets

Joe Selvaggi discusses industrial policy, its aspirations and limitations, with CATO Institute Associate Director Colin Grabow, in response to Senator Rubio's thought piece advocating for a more active role for government in the economy.

Posting Patient Prices: Transparency Cure for Hospital Blank Checks

Joe Selvaggi interviews entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of PatientRightsAdvocate.org, Cynthia Fisher, discussing her research and advocacy for enhanced healthcare price transparency. This initiative has the potential to improve life expectancy and save Americans over a trillion dollars annually.

Constitutional Property Taking: Exclusionary Zoning’s Costs to Owners and Society

Joe Selvaggi talks with George Mason Law Professor Ilya Somin about the the costs, benefits, and legal foundations of exclusionary zoning argued in his recent paper: The Constitutional Case Against Exclusionary Zoning. 

Poor Housing Incentives: Tax Credits Reward Politicians Not Neighbors in Need

Joe Selvaggi interviews Chris Edwards, Chair of Fiscal Studies at CATO Institute, about his research on the 40-year history of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. They delve into its features, effects, and potential alternatives that could provide greater benefits at lower costs to taxpayers.

Biden’s Budget Breakdown: Pragmatic Progress or Political Posturing

Joe Selvaggi talks with Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow Brian Reidl about how the contours of President Biden’s recently released budget proposal reveal a persistent, bipartisan reluctance to address profound structural deficits.

Genetic Therapy Revolution: Benefits and Barriers for Medicine’s New Horizon

Joe Selvaggi talks with neurobiologist and writer Dr. Anne Sydor about the potential for gene therapy to address deadly and debilitating diseases and how current health care models must adapt to encourage this nascent technology.