Highlights from PBMI’s 22nd Annual Drug Benefit Conference

We celebrated our 22nd Annual Drug Benefit Conference in Orlando, Florida, March 6-8, 2017 at the Loews Portofino Bay Hotel. We had over 400 conference registrants, some of which were international visitors from Chile, South Africa, Columbia, and Canada.

2017 Conference Registrations

New Individual Mbrs/Plan Sponsors


PBMs, Consultants, Vendors




Check out our conference recap slideshare.

Below are highlights from the conference:

Before the opening of the conference, attendees had their choice of attending one of two FREE pre-conference workshops:

Workshop A: Trust But Verify: A Case Study on the Value of Auditing Your PBM - focused on the value of auditing your PBM (sponsored by Pharmaceutical Strategies Group)

Workshop B: Improving Patient’s Safety and Outcomes with Innovative Solutions – focused on the strategies and tools needed to improve patient medication adherence (sponsored by Surescripts, LLC)

Conference Opening


The conference kicked off with a keynote presentation from Scott Gottlieb, MD (current nominee for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration lead and regulator). Dr. Gottlieb’s presentation addressed the issues surrounding drug pricing and provided insights into the integral components that affect the ever-evolving face of healthcare policy in America today. Attendees were also able to meet one on one with Dr. Gottlieb later in the Exhibit Hall.

Keynote session sponsored by GoodRx.

Wall Street View

It wouldn’t be the PBMI conference without a presentation from George Hill, Senior Analyst–Healthcare Technology & Distribution, Deutsche Bank on Wall Street’s Outlook on the PBM Industry. George gave us a comprehensive overview which included the history of the PBM business, where they fit in the healthcare supply chain, a summary of recent developments that could potentially affect the PBM space, and what’s coming on the horizon. Thanks George!

Conference Program

Our priority is to offer attendees an educational forum to learn about the latest and best practices in pharmacy management. We were proud to offer more than 20 presentations addressing the key trending topics of healthcare informatics and big data, specialty pharmacy pipeline and trends, the impact of technology on healthcare and pharmacy management, as well as effective strategies to help improve pharmacy benefit management.

Health Plan Leadership Roundtable

New for this year was a roundtable discussion panel including leaders from four of the nation’s largest health plans (Cigna Pharmacy Management, Aetna Behavioral Health, UnitedHealthcare, and Anthem, Inc.). Panelists discussed their challenges and solutions for the growing issues around opioid utilization.

Networking Opportunities

To ensure our attendees had plenty of time to meet with peers, establish new relationships, and interact with vendors sharing their winning solutions, we had several networking events and breaks built into the program.

Sponsors: OutcomesMTM, Maxor National Pharmacy Services, LLC, EnvisonRx, Benecard PBF, Change Healthcare, and EmpiRx Health

The conference mobile app also helped folks to connect, sponsored by Galaxe.Healthcare Solutions.

PBMI Excellence Award Ceremony

We were honored to present excellence awards to six organizations for their contributions in promoting innovative and best-in-class strategies that address cost challenges of prescription drug management, improve the quality of healthcare, and provide clinically appropriate care for their covered members.

Congratulations to the winners!

Care Management Strategies

Anthem accepting the awardDevanshi, Sheri PharmD BCGP, Clinical Pharmacist and Ayn Piquant, PharmD RPh, Manager Pharmacy Operations, Anthem accept the award.

Anthem, Inc.

Anthem, Inc. is recognized for their Opioid Overutilization Management Program, which addresses the issue of potential opioid overuse. This program serves members at possible risk of overuse through a pharmacist–driven case management program and has reduced the number of opioid claims by half for these at risk members.

Read Case Study

HealthPartners accepting the award

Christine Solberg Strahl, PharmD, Sr. Manager Specialty Pharmacy Programs, HealthPartners accepts the award.


HealthPartners is recognized for its Hepatitis C Program which uses a team of Pharmacy Navigators and Medication Therapy Management (MTM) pharmacists to support members being treated for hepatitis C manage their existing conditions and adhere to medications. The personalized approach by this program has led to a 98% hepatitis C therapy completion rate and nearly all participants achieving a viral cure.

Read Case Study

Cost Containment

Cigna accepting the award

Katy Wong, RPh MBA, Vice President Producer Relations, Cigna Pharmacy Management accepts the award.

Cigna Pharmacy Management

Cigna Pharmacy Management (Cigna) is recognized for strategic efforts to change the reimbursement model with drug manufacturers from volume to value through the use of outcomes-based contracts, which link financial terms to measured improvements in customers’ health. Cigna is measuring real world data across pharmacy and medical benefits to hold drug manufacturers accountable for expected health outcomes from medications, and is using these insights to inform future affordability strategies.

Read Case Study

MedImpact accepting the award

Sara Erickson, PharmD, Health Outcomes Researcher, MedImpact Healthcare Systems accepts the award.

MedImpact Healthcare Systems

MedImpact Healthcare Systems, Inc. is recognized for their High-Cost Generics Program which uses pharmacists to review generics with a monthly cost of greater than $60, and where clinically appropriate, find alternative drugs that are equal or better in terms of efficacy, side-effect profile, and cost. Plan sponsors who implement this program save from $1.42 to $3.87 per member per month (PMPM) while also driving better healthcare consumer behaviors cost-sharing differentials, educational communications, and point-of-sale messaging.

Read Case Study

Quality Improvement

Alignment Healthcare accepting the award

Ali Farrokhroo, Pharm.D MBA, Vice President Pharmacy Services, Alignment Healthcare accepts the award.

Alignment Healthcare

Alignment Healthcare is recognized for its efforts to significantly improve medication adherence rates among seniors being treated for diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol. Using both sophisticated data analytics and concierge-level clinical support, this program has helped reduce costs and improve outcomes for Medicare Advantage populations.

Read Case Study

Adam Caromicoli, Managing Partner, Indellient/Blue Relay accepts the award.


Indellient is recognized for their member communication software solution called Blue Relay. This program helped a large pharmacy benefit manager simplify document approval processes, create
automated workflows, and reduce review cycle time, while improving the quality and compliance of member benefit communications.

Read Case Study

Fun Activities 5K Run/Walk and Yoga

Although it’s all about the education at PBMI conferences, we always have time for some FUN. Attendees were up bright and early on day two for a 5K Run/Walk (sponsored by OneArk Suite) and again on day three for an invigorating yoga session.

Twitter Contest

We also brought back the competitive Twitter Contest. Congratulations to Stephanie Hoops and Michael Ell for winning free conference passes to our 2018 conference for the most tweets. You can check out all of the Twitter posts by searching for #PBMI2017.

Thank you to our speakers, sponsors, exhibitors, moderators, and all of our attendees who helped to make this year’s conference a huge success! We couldn’t have done it without you.

(Check out our 2017 Conference Sponsors and Exhibitors)

Join us next year in Palm Springs, CA

The Westin Mission Hills Golf Resort & Spa Hotel | March 5-7, 2018

PBMI 2018 Conference