FMI – The Food Industry Association, which represents more than 12,000 supermarket pharmacies operated by its food retailer member companies, lauded the Senate Judiciary Committee for once again passing the bipartisan Prescription Pricing for the People Act (S.1388).
Introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA), this legislation would require the Federal Trade Commission to examine the effects of consolidation on pricing and other potentially anti-competitive behaviors by pharmacy benefit managers and provide policy recommendations to Congress to improve competition while protecting consumers and pharmacies.
Jennifer Hatcher, FMI chief public policy officer and SVP of government and public affairs, offered the following comments:
“Over the last 18 months of the COVID-19 pandemic, the vital role supermarket pharmacies play in communities across the nation in offering accessible health care services and vaccinations has become more important than ever. Unfortunately, despite their essential role, supermarket pharmacies are struggling to stay in business due to the anti-competitive practices of PBMs.
“These pharmaceutical middlemen arbitrarily increase fees and lower reimbursement rates while reducing patient access to the pharmacy of their choice by driving consumers to pharmacies in their networks, producing an unsustainable business environment for an industry that operates on extremely thin profit margins.
“This follows a scathing rebuke of PBMs last month by FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra, who urged the FTC and Congress to take concrete steps to address the conflicts of interests embedded in the structure of the PBM industry while examining whether PBMs are engaged in coercive practices that harm patients, pharmacies and public health. FMI thanks Sens. Grassley and Cantwell for their continued leadership on making PBM transparency a priority, and we urge the full Senate to swiftly pass this bipartisan legislation.”
As the food industry association, FMI works with and on behalf of the entire industry to advance a safer, healthier and more efficient consumer food supply chain. FMI brings together a wide range of members across the value chain – from retailers that sell to consumers, to producers that supply food and other products, as well as the wide variety of companies providing critical services – to amplify the collective work of the industry.