FTC to Investigate Pharmacy Benefit Managers

FTC chair says powerful middlemen have enormous influence. 

The Federal Trade Commission is launching an inquiry into the operations of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) who control access to prescription drugs for millions of  Americans. On Tuesday, the consumer protection agency said that it will order the nation’s largest PBMs to provide a range of information and records detailing how they do business. 

Pharmacy benefit managers run prescription drug coverage for big clients that include health insurers and employers that provide coverage. They help decide which drugs make a plan’s formulary, or list of covered medications. They also can determine where patients go to fill their prescriptions. These businesses, the biggest of which are run by companies that also operate health insurers, have been criticized by doctors and patients about their formularies and other concerns about drug access. 

The Chair of the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan, stated, “Although many people have never heard of pharmacy benefit managers, these powerful middlemen have enormous influence over the U.S. prescription drug system.“ she said, “The study will shine a light on these companies’ practices and their impact on pharmacies, payers, doctors and patients.”  

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For Chair Lina Khan to seek God’s direction as she heads the FTC.
  • For the president’s administration as pharmacy benefits managers are investigated.
  • For U.S. officials as they look to regulate technology companies and prevent monopolies.

Sources: The Hill, Reuters


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