Creating Economic Opportunities: Nonprofits and the Challenges of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Ben H.

Hatched by Ben H.

Jul 08, 2023

4 min read


Creating Economic Opportunities: Nonprofits and the Challenges of the Pharmaceutical Industry


In today's society, the pursuit of economic opportunities and wealth creation has become increasingly important. However, achieving this goal is not always easy, especially for working families who face numerous challenges. Fortunately, there are organizations and initiatives that aim to address these issues and create a fairer and more equitable society. This article explores two different but interconnected topics - the launch of a new nonprofit dedicated to broad-based employee ownership programs and the challenges faced by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) due to drugmakers restricting 340B pharmacy sales. By examining these issues, we can better understand the efforts being made to improve the lives of working families and the obstacles that stand in their way.

Ownership Works: Empowering Working Families through Employee Ownership Programs

Ownership Works, a newly launched nonprofit, is committed to implementing broad-based employee ownership programs across the corporate world. Their primary objective is to benefit working families by creating opportunities for wealth creation. With McKinsey and over 60 other organizations joining as founding partners, this initiative demonstrates a collective effort to address the wealth gap and promote economic inclusivity. By fostering employee ownership, this nonprofit aims to empower workers, provide them with a stake in their companies' success, and ultimately create $20 billion of wealth.

The Challenges Faced by PBMs and the Impact on Profitability

Pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) play a crucial role in the healthcare industry by managing prescription drug benefits for health insurance plans. However, their profitability is under threat due to drugmakers restricting 340B pharmacy sales. The 340B drug discount program, established in 1992, was designed to provide significant drug discounts to hospitals that serve low-income and uninsured patients. To benefit from this program, participating hospitals often contract with outside pharmacies to fill prescriptions. Unfortunately, some drugmakers are limiting discounted prescription sales to certain pharmacies, thereby pressuring profits at the largest PBMs. This restriction not only affects the profitability of PBMs but also raises concerns about the sustainability of the 340B program itself.

Connecting the Dots: Common Themes and Insights

While seemingly unrelated, the launch of Ownership Works and the challenges faced by PBMs share common themes that highlight the importance of economic opportunities for working families. Both initiatives aim to address wealth inequality and empower individuals to take control of their financial futures. By promoting employee ownership, Ownership Works seeks to create a fairer distribution of wealth within companies, effectively benefiting working families. Similarly, the 340B program was established to provide discounted drugs to hospitals serving low-income patients, thereby enabling these institutions to reinvest the savings into charity care. However, the restrictions imposed by drugmakers hinder the program's effectiveness and ultimately limit the benefits received by working families.

Actionable Advice: Empowering Working Families and Ensuring Profitability

1. Promoting Awareness and Collaboration:

To empower working families, it is crucial to increase awareness about employee ownership programs. Encouraging collaboration between nonprofits, corporations, and government entities can help foster a supportive environment for the implementation of such initiatives. By working together, we can amplify the impact of these programs and create meaningful change.

2. Advocating for Policy Changes:

To address the challenges faced by PBMs and ensure the sustainability of the 340B program, it is essential to advocate for policy changes. Engaging with policymakers and industry stakeholders can help create a more favorable regulatory environment that promotes fair practices and benefits working families.

3. Encouraging Corporate Social Responsibility:

Companies can play a significant role in creating economic opportunities for working families. By adopting corporate social responsibility initiatives, such as employee ownership programs, businesses can contribute to a more equitable society. Encouraging companies to prioritize social impact alongside profitability can lead to positive change.


The launch of Ownership Works and the challenges faced by PBMs in the pharmaceutical industry shed light on the importance of creating economic opportunities for working families. By promoting employee ownership programs and addressing the restrictions on the 340B program, we can strive towards a more equitable society. Through awareness, collaboration, policy changes, and corporate social responsibility, we can empower working families and ensure profitability for all stakeholders involved. Together, we can build a future where economic opportunities are accessible to all, regardless of their socio-economic background.

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