ARLINGTON, VA – Today, FMI – The Food Industry Association, which represents more than 12,000 supermarket pharmacies operated by our food retailer member companies, lauded the Senate Judiciary Committee for once again passing the bipartisan Prescription Pricing for the People Act (S.1388). Introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), this important legislation would require the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine the effects of consolidation on pricing and other potentially anti-competitive behaviors by pharmacy benefit managers (PBM) and provide policy recommendations to Congress to improve competition while protecting consumers and pharmacies.
FMI Chief Public Policy Officer and Senior Vice President, Government & Public Affairs, Jennifer Hatcher offered the following comments:
“Over the last 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the vital role supermarket pharmacies play in communities across the nation in offering accessible health care services and vaccinations has become more important than ever. Unfortunately, despite their essential role, supermarket pharmacies are struggling to stay in business due to the anti-competitive practices of PBMs. These pharmaceutical middlemen arbitrarily increase fees and lower reimbursement rates while reducing patient access to the pharmacy of their choice by driving consumers to pharmacies in their networks, producing an unsustainable business environment for an industry that operates on extremely thin profit margins.
“This follows a scathing rebuke of PBMs last month by FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, who urged the FTC and Congress to take concrete steps to address the conflicts of interests embedded in the structure of the PBM industry while examining whether PBMs are engaged in coercive practices that harm patients, pharmacies and public health. FMI thanks Sens. Grassley and Cantwell for their continued leadership on making PBM transparency a priority, and we urge the full Senate to swiftly pass this bipartisan legislation.”