PLANO, TX--(Marketwire - Feb 15, 2012) - Plan sponsors vary not only in their overall levels of satisfaction but also their satisfaction with key functional areas, according to the 2012 PBM Customer Satisfaction Report by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute. For the first time, satisfaction by type of plan sponsor is reported. A total of 318 U.S. employers, unions, and health plans representing more than 50 million members responded to the survey. This report also features new ratings on specialty pharmacy, key attributes, and specific PBM functions.

"As the complexity of the pharmacy benefit grows, we have modified our satisfaction survey to reflect the changing environment. We are particularly excited to provide detailed satisfaction ratings across a wide range of specialty pharmacy management functions this year," says Brenda Motheral, PhD, Executive Director of PBMI.

The PBM landscape is moving to a hyper-competitive environment and understanding how plan sponsors evaluate their PBM's service and performance is becoming more important. Key survey results and implications include:

  • Plan sponsors rate overall service and performance 7.5 on a 10-point scale compared to a 7.9 (unweighted) score in 2009. Opportunities still exist for PBMs to differentiate their offerings in the marketplace and drive greater sponsor satisfaction and retention.
    • Employers rate satisfaction of PBM service and performance 8.1, followed by union groups at 7.9 and health plans at 7.0.
  • Less than 40% of plan sponsors consider their PBM to be completely transparent. Respondents reporting complete PBM transparency report significantly higher overall satisfaction ratings than those saying their PBM is not transparent -- 8.4 versus 4.8.
  • Medicare Part D, a new question, is among the lower rated functions, reflecting the complexity and challenges inherent to Part D. Overall, the mean satisfaction rate among plan sponsors for this service offering is 7.1.
  • As evidenced by lower satisfaction scores, innovative programs around medication adherence, trend management and other clinical program offerings continues to be a gap in helping plan sponsors of all types maximize the value their pharmacy benefit. The demand for robust clinical programs from PBMs is likely to continue to grow.

The "2012 Pharmacy Benefit Management Customer Satisfaction Report" is available in electronic format for purchase. The newly designed, four-color report includes profiles of 13 PBMs.

The Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute provides research and continuing education to help health care benefit executives work effectively with pharmacy benefit managers to improve the design and management of drug benefit programs. For PBMI news, visit

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