Republican chairman wants FTC to review mergers of drug price negotiators

Republican chairman wants FTC to review mergers of drug price negotiators
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House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenEx-Sen. Cory Gardner joins lobbying firm Ex-Rep. John Shimkus joins lobbying firm Lobbying world 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 TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump 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 HarperEthics watchdog: 'Substantial' evidence GOP lawmaker improperly spent funds, misused position to help brother Congress sends bill overhauling sexual harassment policy to Trump's desk Dems cry foul in undecided N.C. race MORE (Miss.) and Michael BurgessMichael Clifton BurgessOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Supreme Court rules that pipeline can seize land from New Jersey | Study: EPA underestimated methane emissions from oil and gas development | Kevin McCarthy sets up task forces on climate, other issues Texas Republicans condemn state Democrats for response to official calling Scott an 'Oreo' Americans have decided to give professionals a chance 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.