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Inside a drug pricing contract

A sign at the headquarters of Express Scripts.
Express Scripts manages drug benefits for employers. Photo: Whitney Curtis / Bloomberg via Getty Images

A contract template used by Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the U.S., provides a window into how pharmacy benefit managers — middlemen that manage drug coverage for businesses throughout the country — steer negotiations with drug companies to benefit their own financial interests.

Why it matters: These benefit managers have a lot of power over the prescription drug coverage people get through their employers, and they're supposed to negotiate discounts so coverage is cheaper for insurers and employers. If they're not making it cheaper, there's less chance people will get relief from high drug prices.