‘A Beacon of Hope’: PBMs Offer Brittany Long-Sought Comfort
Brittany has been in treatment for the better part of a decade for attention issues and bipolar disorder – but she remembers well what life was like before her medication.
“I can reflect on the times that I wasn’t on this regimen and my life was not easy,” she said. “I found that making friends, making connections, making meaningful relationships was very difficult.
Thanks to her pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), Brittany does not have to worry about getting her medication. Brittany has her prescriptions called in, picks them up in person, and the cost never varies. She knows she can rely on the medication that has made such a difference in her daily life.
“Having that drug benefit, it allows me to pursue my career, pursue my profession,” she said. “It also allows me to be a beacon of hope for other people.”
Brittany’s experience has fueled her interest in mental health as a career. She is currently working at a nonprofit that helps people overcome mental illness and substance abuse through peer counseling. By sharing her experiences, she helps others recover. Brittany is also in training as a social worker and plans to move into a college degree program immediately thereafter.
“I want to get into reentry, maybe working with youth who have been incarcerated and need to kind of get back out here and get things together, because the world can change,” she said.
Brittany knows that PBMs negotiate with pharmacies, insurers and drug manufacturers and that consumers cannot always directly see the work that gets done to reduce prescription costs. But she has gotten a direct glimpse of the process at work.
“I got a letter in the mail from my pharmacy benefit manager saying that one of my medications was going up in price, but they were working to prevent that,” she said. “It was extremely comforting.”
As she put it, “I have actually received a letter saying, ‘Hey, somebody is advocating on your behalf!’”
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Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are your advocates in the health care system, working to lower out-of-control prescription drug costs for patients across the country.