In recent remarks prepared for delivery to the White House roundtable on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan made clear that the FTC’s investigation into PBM practices continues.

Chair Khan defended the ongoing investigation by contrasting statements from PBMs professing to responsibly bring down drug costs with accounts from patients and health care workers who describe PBMs as “dominant gatekeepers who have outsized power to decide how people do or don’t receive the life-saving prescription drugs they depend on.” Chair Khan added that the “FTC has been flooded with stories suggesting that these middlemen—PBMs—engage in tactics that hike the price of drugs, deprive patients of access to certain medicines, and drive community pharmacies out of business.”

The FTC initially launched its inquiry into PBMs in June 2022 by ordering the largest PBMs to provide the FTC with documents on their business practices. In May 2023, the FTC ordered group purchasing organizations that negotiate drug rebates on behalf of PBMs to also produce documents. Chair Khan suggested that, despite the urgency and focus of the FTC’s work, the results of the agency’s investigation have been delayed because PBMs have not fully complied with FTC orders to turn over documents and data. Nevertheless, according to Chair Khan, the FTC is “more determined than ever to understand how PBMs could be causing problems in the drug supply chain.”

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For additional information about the issues discussed above, or if you have any other antitrust concerns, please contact the Epstein Becker Green attorney who regularly handles your legal matters, or one of the authors of this Antitrust Byte:

E. John Steren
Member of the Firm
Patricia Wagner
General Counsel / Chief Privacy Officer
Jeremy Morris
Member of the Firm
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