Released on Jun 29, 2022

FTC Launches Probe of PBMs

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has voted unanimously to authorize a study into the business practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs).

PBMs are the middlemen hired to negotiate rebates and fees with drug manufacturers, create drug formularies and surrounding policies, and reimburse pharmacies for patients’ prescriptions.

In May, ASGE led a letter to the FTC which was signed by ACG, AGA and NASPGHAN.  The letter was in response to the Commission’s invitation for pubic comment on the business practice of PBMs. The agency received more than 24,000 public comments in response to its request.

In the letter, the GI societies wrote that there is no transparency about how formulary decisions are being made, including whether rebate practices play a role. “We encourage the FTC to address anti-competitive conduct by drug manufacturers, PBMs and insurers, including rebates that drug manufacturers provide to payers or PBMs in exchange for market-share guarantees or preferred formulary placement,” the societies added.

As part of the probe, the six largest PBMs are required to provide information and records to the FTC regarding their business practices, including how they develop their formularies and the use of prior authorization.

It could take more than a year for the FTC to complete its study.

About Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Gastrointestinal endoscopic procedures allow the gastroenterologist to visually inspect the upper gastrointestinal tract (esophagus, stomach and duodenum) and the lower bowel (colon and rectum) through an endoscope, a thin, flexible device with a lighted end and a powerful lens system. Endoscopy has been a major advance in the treatment of gastrointestinal diseases. For example, the use of endoscopes allows the detection of ulcers, cancers, polyps and sites of internal bleeding. Through endoscopy, tissue samples (biopsies) may be obtained, areas of blockage can be opened and active bleeding can be stopped. Polyps in the colon can be removed, which has been shown to prevent colon cancer.

About the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Since its founding in 1941, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE) has been dedicated to advancing patient care and digestive health by promoting excellence and innovation in gastrointestinal endoscopy. ASGE, with almost 15,000 members worldwide, promotes the highest standards for endoscopic training and practice, fosters endoscopic research, recognizes distinguished contributions to endoscopy, and is the foremost resource for endoscopic education. Visit and for more information and to find a qualified doctor in your area.


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