Senators urge FTC to review role of drug benefit managers in insulin pricing

WASHINGTON- Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mike Braun (R-Ind.) submitted public comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)pressing the agency for a rigorous examination of impact this pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) business practices have on the price of insulin.

this perverse system exacerbates the problem by discouraging manufacturers from competing to lower the list price and preventing competitors with cheaper alternatives from winning a foot on the ground…” wrote the senators.This is why it is important that the FTC examine the ways in which PBMs serve as gatekeepers of the prescription drugs for millions of Americans and how other business practices can harm patients, payers and the federal government.

In letter to FTC Chairman Lina Khan, senators cite findings of years-long Senate Finance Committee bipartisan inquiry in insulin prices and urge the FTC to examine the effects of consolidation, vertical integration and lack of transparency in how PBMs have exacerbated insulin prices. The senators particularly emphasize the practices of PBM contracting, and their deleterious effects on the prices paid by consumers for this century-old drug.

Grassley and Wyden chaired the finance committee while it conducted its insulin survey between 2019 and 2021.

The full text of the senators’ letter to the FTC is available HERE. Full Text of the Senate Finance Committee investigation report, which they attach to their letter, is HERE.

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