Log in


Kraus: Arizona’s lawmakers must take the issue of PBM reform seriously


Managing a chronic condition brings forth a lot of challenges, but I’d never expect there to be so many hoops to jump through when it comes to getting my medication. I suffer from a severe form of psoriasis and follow a stringent treatment regimen that includes a combination of light therapies, retinoids and a specific drug called methotrexate.

Getting all of my medications was always a bit of a challenge, but in recent years, the problem has grown tenfold as the cost of my medications keeps going up. I’m getting worried that I will soon be priced out of receiving my medicines, and I know now why.

Pharmacy Benefit Managers — PBMs — are middlemen who work to connect patients with pharmacies that have the medications they need. However, because of their outsized power in determining where patients can go, they have become increasingly abusive at the expense of both patients like me and the local pharmacies that we’ve long gone to.

One of the most effective treatments for my psoriasis has been light therapy, particularly for the areas on my head where my hair covers the affected skin. But my insurance no longer covers this treatment, leaving me with few options to manage my condition effectively and at the whim of PBMs, who will look for the option that gives them the most money back in rebates and reimbursements.

Like so many other patients with chronic conditions, I’m always worried about losing access to the care I need. PBMs have only increased my stress thanks to their corrupt practices, and I’m eager to see Arizona’s lawmakers take the issue of PBM reform seriously.

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.

opinion, letters