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Bling-Loving Postal Boss Asked to Step Down Over $12,000 Worth of Cartier Watches

It was only a matter of time before bling-loving Australia Post boss Christine Holgate got some unwanted attention. The CEO, who raked in $2.5 million from the government-owned business last year, was ordered to stand down after admitting she gave $12,000 worth of Cartier watches to her staff as thanks for securing a $66 million deal in 2018.

Wasteful Pharmacy Spend
Don’t gift non-fiduciary PBMs Cartier watches

Ms. Holgate confirmed four of her highly-paid executives were handed Cartier watches during a cross-examination with the Senate. They were ‘awards’ for securing a deal with the Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and NAB, which paid a combined $66 million to Australia Post so its customers could access banking services at its stores across the country. 

Tyrone’s Commentary:

What does this have to do with pharmacy benefits management? It is so easy to waste money with pharmacy spend that many CFOs and HR executives are gifting the equivalent of a Cartier watch to non-fiduciary PBMs on a weekly basis. Larger businesses, $10 million or more annual pharmacy spend, are gifting PBMs the equivalent of one Cartier watch per day! As fiduciaries, employers have a duty to be good stewards of how company dollars are used to fund care for employees and dependents. A good steward of the pharmacy benefit understands not only what they want to achieve in their relationship with their PBM but also the competitive market and their ability to drive disclosure of details on services important to them. Assessing transparency is more effectively done by a trained eye with personal knowledge of the purchaser’s benefit and disclosure goals. Here is a thought. What happens when executive promotions and compensation are tied to pharmacy benefit performance?

‘They got watches,’ Ms. Holgate said as she was questioned by the Senate. They were a Cartier watch of about a value of $3,000 each. She was asked, “Do you remember the brand, the type? Was it a Cartier Tank? What was it?’ ‘The Senate said the gifts were disgraceful and appalling.

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Tyrone Squires, MBA, CPBS

I am the proud founder and managing director of TransparentRx, a fiduciary-model PBM based in Las Vegas, Nevada. We help health plan sponsors reduce pharmacy spend, by as much as 50%, without cutting benefits or shifting costs to employees.

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