Arlington, VA - Today, FMI – The Food Industry Association welcomed the introduction of the bipartisan Pharmacy Benefit Manager Transparency Act of 2023 (S. 127) by Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), which addresses many of the anticompetitive practices used by drug middlemen known as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The bill would also provide the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general with increased enforcement authorities to prevent PBMs from using their positions to harm patients and disadvantage their competitors.
Last year, the FTC voted unanimously to launch a formal inquiry into the PBM industry and to ramp up enforcement against those PBMs participating in rebate schemes that block access to cheaper drugs. This legislation would further empower the FTC to stop unfair and deceptive PBM practices that drive up the costs of prescription drugs beyond the actions the Commission has already taken.
FMI Chief Public Policy Officer & Senior Vice President, Government Relations Jennifer Hatcher stated, “FMI has been beating the drum in the halls of Congress for years about the anticompetitive practices of many PBMs, which significantly increase drug costs and limit patient access to the pharmacy of their choice. Without action from Congress, PBM abuses will prevent supermarkets from opening new pharmacies – particularly in rural and underserved areas – or worse, they will continue leaving the pharmacy business altogether.”
Hatcher continued, “We applaud Chairwoman Cantwell and Sen. Grassley for introducing legislation to address these harms to patients, employers and pharmacies alike. We look forward to working with them as well as the Senate Commerce Committee, Senate leadership and the many pharmacy champions in Congress to secure passage of the PBM Transparency Act in the 118th Congress.”
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