Republican chairman wants FTC to review mergers of drug price negotiators

Republican chairman wants FTC to review mergers of drug price negotiators

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenTop Republicans concerned over impact of potential Trump drug rule Apple jabs ‘other companies’ in defending customer data policies to lawmakers Right ramps up battle with Facebook after Jones, Infowars pages are struck down MORE (R-Ore.) on Friday requested a review of mergers by drug price negotiators, questioning whether the moves had driven up costs for patients.

Walden wrote to the Federal Trade Commission requesting a review looking at recent mergers of companies known as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which negotiate prices with drug manufacturers.

In the letter, Walden said that while there is “conflicting information” on the impact of these mergers, he fears some companies could have “used their market power to try to increase their profits and that PBMs have encouraged higher list prices for prescription drugs that increase co-pays for patients.”

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The letter comes amid increased scrutiny of high drug prices. President TrumpDonald John TrumpDems make history, and other takeaways from Tuesday's primaries Pawlenty loses comeback bid in Minnesota Establishment-backed Vukmir wins Wisconsin GOP Senate primary MORE has been calling out drug companies by name on Twitter, and his administration recently floated the possibility of allowing the importation of drugs to increase competition when there are price spikes.

The letter from Walden, which was also signed by GOP Reps. Gregg HarperGregory (Gregg) Livingston HarperBipartisan leaders of House panel press drug companies on opioid crisis Republican chairman wants FTC to review mergers of drug price negotiators Lawmakers press Apple, Google on data collection MORE (Miss.) and Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessOvernight Health Care: Trump officials move to expand non-ObamaCare plans | GOP fails to block DC individual mandate | Ebola returns to Congo Republican chairman wants FTC to review mergers of drug price negotiators Overnight Health Care: Official defends suspending insurer payments | What Kavanaugh's nomination means for ObamaCare | Panel approves bill to halt employer mandate MORE (Texas), focuses more on PBMs, which have also come under scrutiny for a lack of transparency in setting prices.

Some drug pricing advocates, however, say the focus should be on drug companies that initially set the prices.