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As pharmacy benefit managers come under greater scrutiny for their role in rising drug costs, Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate past mergers that led three companies to dominate the behind-the-scenes middlemen in the pharmaceutical supply chain.

In a July 27 letter, the lawmakers cite ongoing debate over the extent to which pharmacy benefit managers may dampen or accelerate the prices that insured consumers pay for their medicines. Also known as PBMs, these companies negotiate with drug makers for favorable placement on lists of insured medicines, or formularies, which are used by health plans and employers.


They note that mergers formed the largest three PBMs — CVS (CVS), which runs CVS Caremark; Express Scripts (ESRX), which several years ago purchased Medco Health Solutions from Merck (MRK); and OptumRx, which is a unit of UnitedHealth (UNH) and was combined with Catamaran in a 2015 deal. Together, these three command approximately 70 percent of the market for commercially insured prescriptions.

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  • Another sing and dance by the legislators as they are in PBMs hip pocket. Just trying to fool US population that they are doing something. Cow has been slaughtered, cooked and served and they are asking who slaughtered. Were they sleeping?

    Hypocrites of the finest order. 👏👏👏👏👏👏

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