America will attempt to restart the economy in the coming weeks and months and take steps towards a new normal. Even as this process begins, America’s economy is already shaken to the core, with ripple effects that will continue for some time. As a result, America’s employers will face new challenges.

The mission of pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), is that much more important. Employers and insurance plans employ PBMs to lower costs and increase access to prescription drugs. They also help to control health-care premiums. It is crucial to achieve these goals, and to continue finding ways to help patients access their medications while remaining safe during the COVID-19 epidemic.

Coronavirus is a major human tragedy that has affected millions of people. It is also having a major impact on the world economy. The outbreak has resulted in an explosion of Americans without jobs, many of whom rely heavily on their employers for health-care coverage. Safety-net programs like Medicaid and the Exchanges will play a greater role in providing coverage options for patients.

PBMs can take a look at the response of PBMs to increasing numbers of uninsured people as a result from COVID-19. new programThis will set a $25 cap on generic medication costs for a 30-day supply and $75 for over 40 brand-name medications for the remainder of the year.

PBMs are trusted by employers and self-insured plan sponsors for managing prescription drug costs. This has been true for decades. By encouraging competition between drug manufacturers and drugstores, PBMs have fulfilled this need.

Recent research actually shows that PBMs could save as much as 80% more than $512 billionOver the next decade, for both union- and employer-sponsored health plans as well as their employees and dependents. It will be 2020 estimatedThe average savings per person from PBMs on prescription drugs is $962

The future and now, reducing prescription drug cost will impact the entire economy. This will have a ripple effect on other areas as well. Employers cannot spend every dollar on health benefits to create new jobs, increase wage growth, or invest in innovation.

The PBMs are continuing to provide patient-friendly pharmacy benefits that lower prescription drug prices and improve quality. This includes negotiating discounts with drugstores to decrease copays and other out of pocket costs. They also negotiate price concessions with drug manufacturers and promote more affordable brand-name and generic drugs.

Manufacturers of drugs should be commended for their extraordinary efforts to find COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. Once approved, these treatments must be widely accessible and affordable to all. Patients must also have access to medications for chronic diseases. PBMs are able to keep drug costs under control and provide patients with access to treatment. This is a crucial step towards achieving this goal.

Winston Churchill’s words speak volumes as the economy emerges from this difficult period. “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

Patients and plan sponsors alike can depend on PBMs for their knowledge and negotiation power to offer affordable access to prescription medications during these uncertain times.