The Employer's Guide Blog for Overseeing PBMs

The Definition of Oversee: to watch over and direct (an undertaking, a group of workers, etc.) in order to ensure a satisfactory outcome or performance.

PBM Myth: The Request For Proposal (RFP) Binds Your Pharmacy Benefits Manager

Many times clients go through great effort putting together an RFP for PBMs to answer in great detail questions about pricing, service level, and others.  Herein lies the problem; little of this pricing information gets put into the contract.  Those 25 pages or more of useless information could’ve been put to better use by reducing your carbon footprint.

If a PBM expects to gain your trust and manage your pharmacy benefit, it is only reasonable they sign a fiduciary contract which reflects their claims to transparency. If the PBM agrees to your terms, it only follows that your plan goals are memorialized in a rock solid contract.

RFPs do not bind a PBM to their guarantees, fiduciary contracts do. You must eliminate the RFP process and instead draft an airtight fiduciary contract and put it out for bid. A contract is not a legal agreement until it is signed by all parties involved.  Consider this;

  • Many times financial guarantees are not guarantees unless the client has spelled them out in a fiduciary contract. 
  • All rebates may not be paid unless a fiduciary contract is signed.
  • Full audit provisions generally will not be honored unless you have a signed fiduciary contract and a RFP is not a contract. 
However, a signed agreement in a well drafted contract that honors the best that a PBM can offer through the RFP process is worth celebrating with concrete savings. The best type of contract, without question, is a fiduciary contract. Fiduciary contracts provide the highest level of care and deliver perpetual cost reductions to plan sponsors. That being said, why would you settle for anything less?

Click here to register for: “How To Slash the Cost of Your PBM Service, up to 50%, Without Changing Providers or Employee Benefit Levels.”

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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