Part 2 Consents
On 8/21/2012, A Puerto Rican cooperative of pharmacy owners, Cooperativa de Farmacias Puertorriquenas, known as "Coopharma," agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it harmed competition by negotiating, entering into, and implementing agreements among its member pharmacies to fix prices on which they contract with insurers and pharmacy benefit managers. According to the FTC, Coopharma's actions over the past five years have led to higher prices for Puerto Rico's health care consumers. In settling the charges, Coopharma has agreed not to engage in such conduct in the future. The FTC charges that since at least 2007, Coopharma has violated federal antitrust laws by collectively negotiating with more than 10 payers over reimbursement rates, and signing seven single-signature "master contracts" on behalf of its member pharmacies. In addition, the FTC alleges that the threat of collective action by Coopharma members led two payers to pay higher rates to the group's members through their individual pharmacy contracts. Coopharma's actions caused substantial harm to Puerto Rican health care consumers, the FTC charges, without any offsetting efficiencies. On 11/07/2012, the FTC approved a final order prohibiting Coopharma from entering into or facilitating agreements between or among any pharmacies, and prohibiting it from facilitating information exchanges between pharmacies regarding whether, or on what terms to contract with a payer. It also bars attempts to engage in any of the conduct prohibited by the order. Finally, the order requires Coopharma to terminate its primary services contracts upon the payer’s request.