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Drug Firm's Spinoff Highlights 'PBM' Issues

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Drug Firm's Spinoff Highlights 'PBM' Issues

Business

Drug Firm's Spinoff Highlights 'PBM' Issues

Drug Firm's Spinoff Highlights 'PBM' Issues

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/1405490/1405491" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Drug giant Merck spins off its Medco subsidiary, one of several "pharmaceutical benefits managers" that act as a middleman between drugmakers, insurance companies and consumers. The PBMs essentially set the drug prices millions of Americans pay, and critics say they tend to push more expensive drugs over cheaper competitors. NPR's Snigdha Prakash reports.