HealthcareFTC pharmacy benefit manager probe expands to Emisar Pharma

FTC pharmacy benefit manager probe expands to Emisar Pharma

A Federal Trade Commission investigation into pharmacy benefit managers and group purchasing organizations continues to broaden.

On Thursday, the FTC issued a compulsory order to Emisar Pharma Services requiring it to turn over information about its business practices. The GPO negotiates rebates with drug manufacturers on behalf of UnitedHealth Group subsidiary OptumRx. The company has 90 days to provide the records.

The commission began its probe into how PBMs such as OptumRx, CVS Health’s CVS Caremark and Cigna’s Express Scripts operate a year ago and expanded it last month to include affiliated GPOs such as Zinc Health Services and Ascent Health Services.

Together, OptumRx, CVS Caremark and Express Scripts control about 80% of the PBM market.

The PBM industry also is under scrutiny on Capitol Hill. A Senate committee advanced legislation last month that would prohibit practices such as spread pricing, while a House panel approved a bill that would impose new transparency requirements on the companies. In addition, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee is conducting a parallel investigation into PBMs.

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