Rx pill bottles More plan sponsors are considering alternative PBMs that offer a lowest-net-cost approach that includes a more affordable yet clinically effective drug mix. (Photo: Shutterstock)

As we near the end of the second pandemic year, the desire for quality and affordable health care has never been more top of mind.

The pandemic raised new concerns about medication access and supply, both of which drove utilization and costs upward. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) projects prescription spend for commercial plans will grow an average of 5% annually, meanwhile, plan sponsors continue to battle budget pressures and ambiguity over their spend. And the benefit needs of member populations have changed because of the pandemic, once again putting pharmacy benefits under the microscope for 2022.

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