News Briefs: New FTC Commissioner Could Push PBM Probe

Alvaro Bedoya’s confirmation as a commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission gave new hope to organizations urging the FTC to investigate PBMs. The Senate confirmed Bedoya, a Biden administration nominee, on May 11. Prior to Bedoya’s confirmation, an effort to investigate PBMs stalled when the agency’s existing four commissioners deadlocked along party lines in a Feb. 17 meeting over whether to start such a probe. Instead, the commission on Feb. 24 issued a public request for information (RFI) regarding “the ways that practices by large, vertically integrated Pharmacy Benefit Managers’ (PBMs) are affecting drug affordability and access.”

Meanwhile, Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) on May 24 introduced legislation that they said would empower the FTC “to increase drug pricing transparency and hold pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) accountable for unfair and deceptive practices that drive up the costs of prescription drugs at the expense of consumers.” According to the two legislators, the Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act “would ban deceptive unfair pricing schemes; prohibit arbitrary claw backs of payments made to pharmacies; and require PBMs to report to the FTC how much money they make through spread pricing and pharmacy fees.”

© 2023 MMIT
AIS Health Staff

AIS Health Staff

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