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As the Biden administration begins setting priorities, the Federal Trade Commission is poised to take a tougher stand on some pharmaceutical industry practices, given the potential for anti-competitive behavior to influence prescription drug prices.

The anticipation is fueled by two issues that have gained considerable attention in recent years. One has been notable dissent by two agency commissioners — both of whom are Democrats — over merger reviews. And the other is growing concern over the extent to which rebates paid by drug makers for favorable insurance coverage may be choking competition.


Both matters can factor significantly in the cost of medicines, a topic that has caused considerable anxiety among a growing number of Americans and, consequently, is high on the Biden administration agenda. And since President-elect Joe Biden has already issued a list of potential actions for putting a lid on drug costs, the FTC is expected to play a role in the overall approach to the issue.

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