Understanding Competition in U.S. Prescription Drug Markets: Entry and Supply Chain Dynamics #00483

Submission Number:
00483
Commenter:
Charles Meeker
State:
Iowa
Initiative Name:
Understanding Competition in U.S. Prescription Drug Markets: Entry and Supply Chain Dynamics
PBMs do nothing except increase healthcare costs to the patient and the payers, both commercial and government. They are a middleman that adds no value to the healthcare, only to their profits. They also frequently interfere with the doctor/patient relationship. PBMs are driving the costs of drugs up due to their requirement that the drug companies pay them "discounts" just to be included on a formulary. The discounts received, supposedly due to their volume, are being shared partially with the payers with the highest percent going to their bottom line. But what about smaller PBMs and cash paying patients? They don't get the same "discount" yet still pay the inflated prices. These are not "discounts", these are pay-to-play schemes, commonly called kicbacks. Why should any industry have a safe harbor for kickbacks? At a time when drug prices are soaring, and the public is at risk of harm from shortages of critical medications and sterile products, the FTC MUST investigate how the middlemen PBMs are causing these issues. Allowing large pharmacy companies like Walgreens and CVS to become PBMs you are eliminating competition. CVS and Aetna is an even worse idea. DO NOT ALLOW CVS and AETNA TO MERGE>