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Sen. Mike Braun enters fray over prescription drug ‘middleman’ with proposal to cut costs

By  on 3/7/2019

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun waded into the national debate over high prescription drug prices this week with legislation that would end a nontransparent practice that critics say contributes to their spiraling cost.

The bill in question from the Indiana Republican targets the role of large companies called pharmacy benefit managers, which are offered rebates by pharmaceutical companies as they negotiate which drugs are covered by insurance.

Some of those discounts may get passed on to the consumer, but critics say pharmacy benefit managers often pocket the profits from those rebates, since they don't have to disclose what deals they are offered by drug companies.

This industry has been in the crosshairs this year. Executives from Big Pharma testifying before Congress last week said such firms, including Express Scripts and CVS Health, play a large role in rising prices, and the Trump administration released a proposal earlier this year that would require any discounts such companies negotiate for Medicare and Medicaid be applied to a drug's list price.

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