Local pharmacies concerned about future: ‘We’re on track to be bankrupt’

By Nicole Brown

Nearly 500 neighborhood pharmacies in the city are considering cutting hours or staff this year because of financial concerns, according to a recent survey. 

Small pharmacies are being “choked” by pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) that control how much they get reimbursed for drugs purchased by customers through insurance plans. Acting as a middleman between insurers and pharmacies, PBMs charge insurers and pay the pharmacy, rather than the insurer paying the pharmacy directly. But the price the pharmacy gets from the PBM can be less than what it originally paid for the drug, according to multiple pharmacists.

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