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Matt: ‘We all need advocates’

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Matt is a marathon runner who was shocked to be diagnosed with high cholesterol. He’s glad to have a PBM keeping his costs low.

Matt is not just a runner. The 65-year-old has completed 14 marathons, including major races in Boston and New York that require athletes to qualify. At top form, before the pandemic, Matt could cover 26 miles in 3:17, a time that would make many runners envious.

So he was very surprised to hear from his doctor that he has high cholesterol—high enough to require regular medication. “I was shocked,” Matt said. “I try to keep a pretty active lifestyle. I love to run marathons, go biking and kayaking.”

Indeed, few would guess Matt’s condition. He is lean and fit as he prepares to launch into retirement after a career in information technology. But, as Matt explains, there’s more to cholesterol than lifestyle. “I have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol that can’t be controlled by diet and exercise alone,” he said. “So I have to depend on three medications to keep it in check. Without these medications, my life can be at risk. Risk of a heart attack. Risk of a stroke. I really depend on these medications to stay healthy.”

PBMs lower the cost of prescription medication by 40% to 50%, according to a study by the Bureau of Economic Research study called The Value of Pharmacy Benefit Management. Annually, PBMs save payers and patients an average of $962 per person. Matt relies on a pharmacy benefit manager, or PBM, to make sure that his medication is available when he needs it and at a cost that he can afford. He is grateful for the help.

“Access to affordable medication is hugely important to me because I plan to retire soon and I’ll be on a fixed income,” Matt says. “That’s why I’m very thankful for pharmacy benefit managers, because they help negotiate with big drug companies to keep my prices in check.” “We all need advocates,” he said. “Thank heaven we have PBMs out there, because they’re looking out for the little guy.”

Watch Matt’s story here.

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