Understanding Competition in U.S. Prescription Drug Markets: Entry and Supply Chain Dynamics
My name is Anne Tran at Taj Mahal Medical Center Pharmacy serving the community population of patients includes newborns (pediatric care centers) to great-grandparents (geriatric care centers). I have been a pharmacist owner of my pharmacy for more than 5 years. Although drug prices are skyrocketing, non-PBM-owned pharmacies are being reimbursed drastically below cost. Meanwhile, PBMs force patients to use PBM-owned mail order and PBM-owned retail pharmacies (like CVS) in order to save on their copays. Many of our patient loves to fill the prescription at our pharmacy but requirement for mail order prescription from the PBM forces the patients to use the mail order service against their will. This is anticompetitive behavior that will, in effect, put the non-PBM-owned pharmacy like us out of business. The recent approval of CSV Health merger with Aetna even make it worse for the patients because they may be forced patients even more against their will to drive PBM profits and to pay for the cost of the mergers. PBMs are not the helpful, cost-savings third-party administrators they portray. They are industry middlemen profiting at every stage of the prescription drug supply chain from the manufacturers and the dispensers to the plan payers and patient. They are driving up drug prices, promoting the use of certain drugs over others, forcing medical providers to remain silent and costing patients and taxpayers tens of millions of dollars every year. The FTC's mission is to protect consumers and prevent anticompetitive business practices. On behalf of patients, drug plan sponsors and small business pharmacies who depend on trusting relationships with their patients, I am pleading for your help to intervene in these unregulated entities and break up the enormous power PBMs have over the out-of-control cost of healthcare.