Issue Brief

No. 749

The ABCs of PBMs
October 27, 1999


Robin J. Strongin


This issue brief describes the evolution of the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) industry since the late 1960s and outlines current business practices in the areas of payment, services, drug formularies, and rebates. Tools of the trade, such as cost-sharing and generic substitution, used to control costs and improve quality are also discussed.

Related Materials

See also the entry for the related Forum Session.

In addition, see "Pharmacy Benefit Managers: A Model for Medicare?" (Issue Brief No. 765, July 9, 2001) for more recent information.

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