FTC to sue drug middlemen CVS, UnitedHealth over insulin prices: report

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The agency plans to file lawsuits targeting the business practices related to rebates brokered with drug manufacturers, the Journal reported.

Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, act as middlemen between drug companies and consumers. They negotiate fees and volume-based discounts, known as rebates, with drug manufacturers, create lists of medications that are covered by insurance, and reimburse pharmacies for prescriptions.

UnitedHealth, Cigna and CVS Health — the three largest pharmacy-benefit managers — are facing a lawsuit over their tactics for negotiating prices for drugs.“Any action that limits the use of these PBM negotiating tools would reward the pharmaceutical industry and return the market to a broken state, leaving American businesses and patients at the mercy of the prices drugmakers set,” a CVS spokesperson said, adding that the company will defend the use of these tools vigorously.

The Federal Trade Commission plans to file lawsuits targeting the business practices related to rebates brokered with drug manufacturers, the report said. FTC Chair Lina Khan, above.This comes a day after the FTC issued an interim report, saying the three biggest PBMs – managing 79% of US prescription drug claims – have greatly enriched themselves at the expense of smaller pharmacies and consumers.

 

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