Pharmacy middlemen are under scrutiny for pushing up drug prices

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The Washington Post —

The middlemen who negotiate the prices paid by consumers at the pharmacy counter — known as pharmacy benefit managers — face their own Senate grilling tomorrow over the role they play in making drugs more expensive in the United States than anywhere else.

And comments are due today on draft rules announced in February by Department of Health and Human Services head Alex Azar, taking sharp aim at the discounts obtained by PBMs. The rules, which HHS aims to finalize in June, would ban the rebates PBMs are paid by drug manufacturers in Medicare plans and Medicaid managed-care plans — savings that aren’t always passed along to consumers. The rules are among a bucket of changes proposed by the Trump administration as part of its promise to lower drug prices.


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