In a move hailed by pharmacies, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission plans to vote later this month on whether to examine pharmacy benefits managers and how their controversial practices affect independent and specialty pharmacy operations.
The agency disclosed the planned Feb. 17 vote in a brief notice that specified interest in the “competitive impact of contractual provisions and reimbursement adjustments, and other practices affecting drug prices,” but did not provide any further detail. An FTC spokesperson wrote us that additional information will not be released until the upcoming meeting.
The decision to explore pharmacy benefit manager contracting comes after several years of complaints from pharmacies over fees for such things as reimbursement, participation in coverage networks, and meeting quality metrics, among other things. Pharmacies have argued fees are often opaque, fail to cover the cost they pay for of medicines, and are sometimes charged retroactively.
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