FTC Commissioner Bedoya calls out PBM games

FTC Commissioner Bedoya calls out PBM games


On Thursday, FTC Commissioner Alvaro M. Bedoya delivered remarks in Minneapolis calling out the unfair games PBMs play. Bedoya cited an example where a pediatric cancer patient in West Virginia was denied readily available, behind-the-counter medication as the PBM insisted that the medicine can only be dispensed by the PBM’s own mail-order specialty pharmacy. The PBM then told the family to go home and wait two weeks to receive the medication via mail order, according to written remarks from Bedoya. He added that this is a product of vertical integration, which took the pharmacy benefit landscape from about 39 companies including pharmacies, PBMs, and insurers down to just three main PBMs. “And so today, when most people fill a prescription, just one of three entities mediates what medicine they get, what they pay for it, and how they will get it – and that corporate entity makes money by making sure that prescription is filled by its own pharmacy,” Bedoya said. “Even, apparently, when it is cancer medicine. And even, apparently, when doing that will force a child to wait for two weeks.” In closing, Bedoya said, “… Antitrust is about: your groceries, your prescriptions, your paycheck. I want to make sure the commission is helping the people who need it the most.” NCPA staff attended the forum.

A health care panel discussion featured community pharmacists Jessica Astrup Ehret (Owner, Astrup Cos.) and Steve Simenson (treasurer and managing partner, Goodrich Pharmacies), in addition to Tracy Jones of the AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland and John Farina of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. Astrup Ehret discussed the many pitfalls of PBM’s “take-it-or-leave-it” contracts. Simenson discussed how PBMs under-reimburse drugs and how community pharmacies are negatively affected by vertical integration. Farina and Jones discussed PBMs negatively affect access to AIDS medication. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison provided keynote remarks along with Bedoya.

3 Responses

  1. I swear I remember learning back in middle school about the whole trust-busting battle & how awful things happened when one company has control over a huge area. About how anti-trust laws were passed to prevent big monopolies. I remember when AT&T lost sole control over the nation’s phone habits. I DON’T remember learning anywhere that this idea had been overturned & that monopolies are a great thing. Yet here we are again, returning to the days that spawned the idiocy that led to the whole antitrust fight happening.

    The whole manufactured “opioid epidemic” has certainly proven that people are too stupid to learn the lessons of history (such as, “Prohibition never works”). It looks like we’re going to go thru an additional nightmare of greed & corruption destroying lives on a grand scale. “Best medical care in the world,” my achin’ butt.

  2. Again,,just shows man capacity to harm,be it a child or adult.Sadly we have people obviously,who think nothing of harming/killing the weakest amongst us,,thus WHY no-one should ever have the right to decide how much forced physical pain,ie torture, another living soul should forcible endure,,Again,,evils are sufferable, its up to a humane civilized society/government to RECGONIZE,/ limit those
    who are evil,those who are capable of such cruelity, of ever having the power to torture children,all of us for that matter..When $$$$$$$$ is their idle,,it is true,,money is the root of all evil,,,,,,KOLODNYS proved that,100,000,000.00 times over,,,,,jmo,,,,maryw

  3. Forcing a child to wait TWO AGONIZING WEEKS for proper pain medication is barbaric and cruel beyond belief. That is the ultimate child abuse.

    I have been following the pain patient world for well over a year and the horrors that have been inflicted on some of our members are beyond belief. Scarier than any novel written by Stephen King because this is REAL and can happen to anyone. Everyone is one accident from understanding. I just don’t get it – how can people lack compassion and place the value of addicts comfort above legitimate pain patients is incomprehensible.

    Thank you for all you do, Steve.

Leave a Reply

Discover more from PHARMACIST STEVE

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading