FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin
Pharmaceuticals / Regulatory Affairs

Azar Asks Senators for Support on PBM Reforms

April 12, 2019

HHS Secretary Alex Azar asked Senators for their support for rule changes that would redirect prescription drugs discounts toward customers.

The proposed rule “would be revolutionary,” especially for patients with diseases such as diabetes, arthritis or high cholesterol, Azar told the Senate Appropriation’s subcommittee on labor, health and human services, education and related agencies in a hearing on the HHS budget request for fiscal 2020.

“It’s $29 billion going to pharmacy benefit managers now [that] would go to patients directly Jan. 1, 2020,” Azar said.

The administration issued a proposed rule in late January that would require any rebates to go directly to consumers at the point of purchase. Under the proposal, manufacturer rebates to pharmacy benefit managers, Part D plans and Medicaid managed care organizations would no longer qualify for safe harbor protection under the Anti-Kickback Statute).

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