At least nine bills introduced in Congress take aim at pharmacy benefit managers, the powerful middlemen that channel prescription drugs to patients. Here's what the fuss is all about.
Trump administration officials say drugs' list prices are like cars' sticker prices — easily negotiated. But in the life and death world of medicine, say price watchers, that analogy falls apart.
The Senate Finance Committee will hear Tuesday from executives from the biggest pharmacy benefit managers. Confidential rebates paid to the PBMs are expected to draw scrutiny.
The proposed merger is the latest in a string of big health care business combinations, as companies within the industry look for leverage and savings.
By combining a health insurer with a drugstore chain, CVS is looking to provide more care from its network of stores. The deal would also give the merged companies more clout with drugmakers.
Many people have never heard of pharmacy benefit managers. They're the companies that help insurers decide what drugs to cover and how much you pay for them.
The giant health insurer says Express Scripts, a manager of drug benefits, should be passing along more of the savings it negotiates with drugmakers.
Independent pharmacies are getting pinched by reimbursements for generic drugs that aren't keeping up with rising prices. Drugstores blame the middlemen who manage companies' drug benefits.