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WASHINGTON — The federal government has the authority to modify or eliminate the rebates pharmacy benefit managers get from drug makers on behalf of patients in Medicare prescription drug plans, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Tuesday, the clearest indication yet that the administration might exercise that power.

“Rebates are allowed under an exception to the anti-kickback statute, and that’s an exception that we believe by regulation we could modify,” Azar told lawmakers.

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