The pharmacy squeeze

An illustration of prescription pills.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo / Axios

Pharmacists have been among the most vocal opponents of the drug pricing tactics that pharmacy benefit managers use. PBMs pay pharmacies for each filled prescription, but pharmacists, especially those running independent stores, say the big players are squeezing them by paying out wildly differing rates.

Key quote: "It is an absolute bloodbath for pharmacies right now," said Antonio Ciaccia, a top lobbyist with the Ohio Pharmacists Association. "When things are subjective and they're unclear, that is when the PBM sees opportunity."