Amid Increased Federal Scrutiny, PBMs Pivot Strategy

Pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) are employing new strategies to squeeze independent pharmacies, even as the industry faces pressure from the federal government, which is looking for ways to curb healthcare’s middlemen and preserve competition in medicine distribution. Independent pharmacies have complained for years about unfair tactics used by PBMs to force them out of business, including underpaying for filled prescriptions and reimbursement clawbacks. It has gotten the attention of Congress, and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is in the middle of a probe with results due this year. Meanwhile, another tactic is starting to see an anecdotal increase: terminations.

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