Arch Trump enemy Chris Christie faces questions over ties to big pharma

 August 24, 2023

Former New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie has regularly attacked former President Donald Trump and even questioned his commitment to democracy.

However, Christie is now facing questions over whether his ties to the pharmaceutical industry have influenced his policies. 

Christie blames pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) for spike in health care costs

That issue was raised this week in an article by Breitbart contributor Sean Moran, who began by pointing to Christie's history of blaming highhealth care costs on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

As the Wall Street Journal explained in 2016, PBMs "process prescriptions for the groups that pay for drugs, usually insurance companies or corporations and use their size to negotiate with drug makers and pharmacies."

By doing this, PBM's effectively "act as an intermediary between the payor and everyone else in the health-care system."

They "generally make money through service fees from large customer contracts for processing prescriptions, operating mail-order pharmacies, and negotiating with pharmacies and drug makers" while often having a duty to find savings embedded in their contracts.

Former governor says that PBMs are "a real evil agent in all this"

Moran recalled how Christie did not hesitate to go after PBMs in an interview earlier this month with CNBC this month saying, "You do not hear any politician come on here and talk about the PBMs, the pharmacy benefit managers."

"They are taking from anywhere from 50% to 70% of the rebates that pharmaceutical companies mean to go to the customer and they’re taking them purely to be middlemen," Christie alleged.

Further, this was far from being the first time that Christie has taken issue with PBMs, as he also slammed them when launching his presidential bid, declaring, "There is a real evil agent in all this, and those are the pharmacy benefit managers."

Christie's lobbying firm has profited from representing big pharma companies

However, Moran noted how Christie founded Christie 55 Solutions, a Washington lobbying outfit that has made hundreds of thousands of dollars by advocating on behalf of the very pharmaceutical companies that PBMs must negotiate against.

What's more, in April of this year Christie was added to the advisory board of Cytogel Pharma, a corporation that manufactures the non-opioid painkiller known as Exparel.

Yet Christie's ties to the pharmaceutical industry don't stop there, as his former chief of staff Rich Bagger previously worked for another major pharmaceutical company before coming on to the governor's team in Trenton.

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