Uncle Herrman, Why Would I Want To Pay More When I Can Pay Less?

The posting immediately following this one has spurred a reaction from Molly Mulebriar, resident intern in training.

“Bill, first of all, Uncle Herrmann is doing fine, fishing at Lake Guerrero with his buddies. But, the real purpose of this email is to ask you, why would anyone want to pay more for a drug when they can get the same drug down the street at CostCo, Walmart or HEB  for as much as half the price? It just does not make sense. And why would a PBM include a string of retail pharmacies on their panel, knowing that drugs purchased there are priced higher, in some cases much higher, than the same exact drug down the street from a pharmacy also on the network panel?

We advised Molly to read previous postings on this very same subject: http://blog.riskmanagers.us/?p=7246, http://blog.riskmanagers.us/?p=7715

This growing phenomenon is called an SBPPO – which some call a “narrow” network – http://blog.riskmanagers.us/?p=7246


Editor’s Note: It’s all about marketing, Molly. A broad PPO network listing is more popular with consumers whose only skin in the game are silly co-pays, than a narrow and limited panel of providers.