4. Dr. Steve Miller, CMO, Express Scripts
When you meet him in person, Steve Miller, chief medical officer at Express Scripts, the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits manager, is as nice as pie. He is Midwestern polite and uses examples that make it easy for his listeners to understand the complex topics he is talking about. And that’s exactly why his adversaries — mainly the pharmaceutical industry — should beware.
Miller makes the convoluted world of drug pricing, rebates, discounts, and reimbursement simple to understand, and that may be why he became one of the most influential voices in the drug-pricing debate.
Several years ago, when Gilead Sciences priced Sovaldi, at the time its soon-to-be-blockbuster hepatitis C cure, at $1,000 a pill, it was Miller, speaking on behalf of Express Scripts, who loudly voiced disapproval of the pricing model. For the last year or so, his tone has softened as has that of Express Scripts, but the company’s repeated criticism of high drug prices has been a significant reason why pricing is a subject of national discussion.
“We’ve played a big part in generating that,” he told MM&M earlier this year. He says Express Scripts is ready to collaborate with drugmakers. But is pharma ready to reciprocate?