036: The Problem with PBMs with Antonio Ciaccia

About this Episode

What’s driving the costs of prescription drugs? Not only are prescription drugs expensive, but the prices are increasing at a rate 10% faster than inflation.

In fact, some drug costs have seen a  6,000% increase in cost!

In this episode of Side Affects, Scott and Anne Marie welcome Antonio Ciaccia of the Ohio Pharmacists Association. a trade group that represents pharmacy professionals to the show.

Together, Scott, anne Marie, and Ciaccia shine a light on the hidden costs driving prescription drug prices.

Antonio Ciaccia with Scott McGohan and Anne Marie Singleton
Antonio Ciaccia (center) joins Scott McGohan and Anne Marie Singleton inside McGohan Brabender’s social media studio.

Prescription Drug Transparency

Prescription drug transparency is arguably the most dysfunctional part of our healthcare system, says CEO of McGohan Brabender Scott McGohan.

Most recently, the epipen garnered national attention. And for good reason! Since 2007, users of this drug to treat allergic reactions have seen the costs skyrocket from an average cost of $94 to $609. (Source)

This price jump was just a small step in exposing what is going on with prescription drug pricing. Although pharmaceutical companies have taken the majority of the consumer’s attention, there are still a litany of middle men. that are all incentivized, including pharmacies in some instances to have higher list prices on drugs.

The middle-men are incentivized to charge higher prices, notes Antonio Ciaccia.

This is where the real costs of prescription drugs begin to appear. Some major insurance companies have contracts with Pharmacy Benefit Managers. Many times a patient and an employer are unaware of the agreements between the two entities.

In this episode CEO of Scott, Anne Marie and Ciaccia share how Pharmacy Benefit Managers drive the costs upwards, what goes on behind the scenes of the pharmaceutical industry and more.


Listen to Side Affects

Listen to Side Affects episode 036 on SoundCloud

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About our Guest

Antonio Ciaccia joins Scott McGohan and Anne Marie Singleton this week on Side Affects. Antonio has served as the Director of Government and Public Affairs at Ohio Pharmacists Association for the past 7 years. He has been appointed to the National Community Pharmacists Association’s Steering Committee on State Legislation and Regulation (source).

Founded in 1879, Ohio Pharmacist Association is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Their mission is to unite the profession of pharmacy through the promoting public health through education, discussion, and legislation.

To learn more about Antonio Ciaccia and the Ohio Pharmacists Association, visit their company website.

Notes and Resources

Contact Us

Antonio Ciaccia says pharmaceutical companies take a lot of heat for rising drug prices. But most people aren’t aware that middlemen within the pharmacy supply chain negotiate prices, often in secrecy. Ciaccia blames “a dysfunctional system.” Scott blamed “an overabundance of greed

Ciaccia blames “a dysfunctional system.” Scott blamed “an overabundance of greed.” What are your thoughts and opinions on the rise of pharmaceutical drug prices? You can reach Scott McGohan via email at scott@healthierbirthdays.com and Anne Marie at anne@healthierbirthdays.com


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