Advocacy / Advocating for You / Healthcare

Action Required: Tell the FTC to Lower Drug Costs by Examining PBM Business Practices

Update 4/6/22: Over 14,150 comments have been left by AMAC members telling the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the business practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBM). Transparency in the outpatient prescription drug supply chain, which is dominated by PBMs, is essential to lowering drug costs for all Americans. There’s still time for your voice to be heard. Please leave your comment today.

AMAC Action is excited to announce a significant initiative for our members and friends. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is asking for comments concerning the business practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBM). This is a significant development given that many Americans are familiar with PBM entities like, CVS Caremark, Optum Rx, and Express Scripts, but know very little about how they operate.

AMAC Action has been calling for PBM business transparency for 4 years to expose the legal “safe harbor” that exists for these organizations. This safe harbor allows pharmacy benefit managers to charge drug manufacturers excessive fees to access the millions of insured lives that PBMs control. These fees find their way back to consumers, including Medicare beneficiaries, in the form of high drug costs. These fees are anti-competitive and distort the free market which should be the deciding factor in determining drug prices. This safe harbor should be repealed which would allow for transparency, competition, and accountability to influence drug costs.

There are numerous other questionable business practices PBMs employ, like forcing Medicare beneficiaries to use a PBM mail order pharmacy that auto-refills prescriptions. These practices put pharmacy benefit managers between the patient and their physician and local pharmacist, and effectively allows the PBM to dictate when beneficiaries receive their medications. The auto-refill practice also allows PBMs to generate even more fees for each prescription that is dispensed.

The FTC’s request for comments will most certainly be answered by physicians and pharmacists, but the most important voice in this discussion will be yours, the patient. Please click the button below to send a comment to the FTC and tell them to take a close look at pharmacy benefit manager business practices as a legitimate approach to lowering drug costs for Americans.

Click Here to Send Your Comment to the FTC


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Willy
2 months ago

IMHO: Big Pharma is a big monopoly and should be cut down to size. Follow the money. Big Pharma has never cured anything, not even the common cold (just another corona virus). It is much more profitable to use their various poisons to relieve pain and suffering.

If you watch TV, or even listen to the Radio, the medicine commercials would lead one to believe the USA is the sickest place on the planet, “ask your doctor” is in most of the commercials as their CYA disclaimer. I have heard that Pfizer funds most of these commercials. I think they want to keep you just well enough to be able to work and afford to buy their products, but sick enough to want to buy their products. I also think most of the “diseases” we have nowadays are brainchilds of Big Pharma so they can sell a product to relieve it. Big Pharma really hates the alternate pill market, their competition that is not FDA approved. However, FDA Approval is questionable because they get a lot of their funding from Big Pharma; conflicts of interest.

Mass Formation Psychosis (Brainwashing) has been with us for many decades and directs the minds of a large group of people to do the bidding of the instigator automatically, and if driven deeply enough, sometimes even against the victims morals (group think).

Big Pharma along with the other Big Businesses I listed is one of the largest cash cows that the wealthy elites have to fleece the common workers. About the only difference between the legal Big Pharma and the illegal Drug Cartels is that Big Pharma pays taxes to the government. Trillionaires are not too far in the future if we continue the route we are traveling. This is why one should never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups! Think of what the shelves at the many, many drug stores would look like without all these miracle medicines. It’s like the old time “Snake Oil” peddler on steroids; but he only had one or two products like whiskey and cod liver oil, or whiskey and some other ingredient, and depended mostly on the imagination of gullible people.

Nancy
2 months ago

Why can’t I make my own comment?

Deb
2 months ago
Reply to  Nancy

I agree, Nancy! I would love to make my own comment!!????????????????????????

CoNMTX
2 months ago

I believe drug prices are high because of the fantastic profits to be gained. Health is not as important to these companies as money. Also, because the drug companies have so many millions of dollars, they own quite a few congressmen who vote on such things. Most of the members of congress are so crooked they could change clothes behind a corkscrew.

Mike
2 months ago

We seniors over 75 really need relief from high drug prices. Tell the drug companies to start making allowances for senior citizens and quit giving all the freebies to illegal aliens and undocumented noncitizens

Rich
2 months ago
Reply to  Mike

Right on Mike

Barbara
2 months ago

Please get the pharmacy prescriptions under better control.
It’s hard enough living on social security as it is. Then hit us with outrageous copays, seniors and disabled suffer the most.

Elaine Triplett
2 months ago

I’m on Medicare but hit the donut hole in April. I couldn’t afford my insulin. Then I found out that the company who made them would provide them free of charge. I was amazed I qualified. And another medicine that was over $700 a month with insurance, I now get for $50 a month and they send it to me. Why is it that you can find some meds cheaper without insurance? Something isn’t right.

Hogan
3 months ago

Drug prices need to be lowered.

Leland
3 months ago

good

Ed Schu
3 months ago

PBM needs a rev!

Samuel
3 months ago

… so, you expect the FTC people, to study the problem? Exactly how long would prefer the FTC people dig in, studying the problem? And, to whom would admonish them to report their findings? Kamala Harris? Xavier Bacerra? Joseph Biden? Pray tell, for what? Maybe they’ll give us another stimmy?

Alfred
3 months ago
Reply to  Samuel

I agree. The problem isn’t our pharmaceuticals. The problem is, regulatory capture. Our institutions and bureaucracies no longer represent the United States of America. In it for the perks corporations lavishly embellish it, the FTC people could care less about anything or anyone, but themselves.

Chris Roberts
3 months ago

This should include large increases in co-pays annually approved by congress.

Jeff
3 months ago

All I can say sis that with cVS Caremark, I have two less than desirable outcomes:

– pharmacy not having info and prep instructions etc. that are consistent with what my cardiologist told me, regarding meds, and, secondly

-overfilling of meds by excessive frequency of refills, sometimes – tho less item, including doubled doses (e.g. 10 mg pills instead of 5mg)

David Wells II
3 months ago

Please take the PBMs out of the drug market. As a senior citizen it is hard enough to survive

Steve McCoy
3 months ago

Please review the PBMs for transparency and fair practices

Clark Kent
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve McCoy

So you believe the old lie: ‘I’m from the government and here to help you’? WAKE UP!

Eva
3 months ago

good

Clark Kent
3 months ago
Reply to  Eva

No, NOT GOOD. The feds make EVERYTHING THEY TOUCH MUCH WORSE! ‘If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert in five years there would be a shortage of sand’ – Milton Freedman. WAKE UP!

Popeye
3 months ago
Reply to  Clark Kent

I believe the request here is for some oversight in an area of the drug supply chain that desperately needs transparency.

Robert Zuccaro
3 months ago

While I’m sure its not the same for everyone but my mom takes 7 different commonly taken meds each month costing less than $20… Obviously certain drugs cost more but how cheap do drugs have to be? I’m more curious why it still takes 45 days to get a VA appointment!

Bob Taylor
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Zuccaro

Or why the Feds under Oblammer put welfare income/savings restrictions on an earned benefit?
Also why O’Biden TWICE sponsored laws to tax SS and earned/paid in benefit while GIVING free benefits to illegal aliens?
And why are DimocRATs allowing in hordes of illegal aliens with NO ASSETS, NO SKILLS????

Shari Medley
3 months ago
Reply to  Robert Zuccaro

I’d sure like to take my hypertension, cholesterol, & diabetes medications for only $7 a month!

Ruby
3 months ago

nice

Rik
3 months ago

Forget the drugs, ALL drugs have dangerous side effects! . . . Discover PEMF Therapy instead! . . . I have and at 74, my health is good and strong!

Tommy Molnar
3 months ago
Reply to  Rik

That’s all well and good, Rik, until you are taking chemo drugs for leukemia. That “Pulsed Electromagnetic Field therapy” is of no value. Sounds more like copper bracelets to me. Yeah, the leukemia drugs have side effects, but the biggest side effect is – I’M STILL ALIVE!

Rik
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

In your case, ignorance is bliss! . . . Don’t criticize what you don’t know anything about! . . . Even NASA has contracted with Bemer to design their PEMF system into their spacesuits.

Teena Johnson
3 months ago
Reply to  Rik

Rick. SOMETIMES the degenerative process has gone a bit too far. Please do not damage the reputation of these technologies with judgmental attitudes toward someone who is suffering.
I Know PEMF has done MANY things to bring people out of near death health situations. BUT you need to realize that the powers that be do not want this type of treatment to BE available AND the AMA took this very technology away in the 1920s and 30’s. SO please be prudent.

Rik
3 months ago
Reply to  Tommy Molnar

Because of PEMF therapy, I have NO CLOGGED ARTERIES, NO HIM BLOOD PRESSURE OR SUGAR, NO HIGH CHOLESTEROL! . . . So, I have NO Circulation Issues, and I don’t exercise or eat right, and I am healthy! . . . Not recommended for people with a pacemaker, otherwise, no harm. I’m very fortunate that I discovered PEMF therapy many years ago. I know of another person who bought one and NOW IS NO LONGER DIABETIC! . . . Good Circulation is the key to good health!

Bob L.
3 months ago

Everyone should also be demanding an end of the pharma companies importing about 80% of the products they sell to us from Communist China. Only a fraction of the facilities making those drugs over there have or are being inspected and given that country’s history of poor quality standards, how safe are the drugs, are they being tested once here or just given a free pass?

Clark Kent
3 months ago
Reply to  Bob L.

Most of what we purchase is from China. And your point is?

Shari Medley
3 months ago
Reply to  Clark Kent

It shouldn’t be. Worst idea in the world is to be dependent on a country that’s your enemy.

Carmen
3 months ago

PBMs should be scrapped! FTC must allow Medicare/Medicare Advantage beneficiaries to choose what ever pharmacy they want their prescriptions filled.
My OTC benefits amounts to only half the real value of items like when I ordered a first aid kit – the kit contained only 22 items instead of the 35 total promised number … all made in China for CVS.

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