FDAnews Drug Daily Bulletin
Pharmaceuticals / Regulatory Affairs

Senators Bear Down on PBMs for Their Role in Drug Pricing

April 17, 2019

Pharmacy benefit managers took their turn on the drug pricing hot seat as Senators grilled five executives about their role in a system that both parties agree is out of control.

In testimony last week before the Senate Finance Committee, leaders from Cigna (formerly Express Scripts), CVS Caremark, Humana, OptumRx and Prime Therapeutics based their defense on customer choice.

PBMs find themselves with few friends in Washington, D.C., and much of the criticism is focused on their practice of taking rebates from drugmakers without passing them through to patients. All five men said that they had heard the complaints and were working to address it.

“We agree absolutely that the consumers should get all the value” of the rebates, said OptumRx CEO John Prince.

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