It's the middleman's turn: 5 PBMs get April 3 Senate invite to discuss drug costs

The Senate Finance Committee has invited leaders from five major pharmacy benefit managers to testify at an April 3 hearing about high prescription drug costs in the U.S., according to CNBC.

Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden D-Oregon, have asked Cigna, CVS, Humana, OptumRx and Prime Therapeutics to testify on Capitol Hill.

The senators have been critical of PBMs, which negotiate drug benefits with drugmakers on behalf of insurers and employers.

"Middlemen in the healthcare industry owe patients and taxpayers an explanation of their role. There's far too much bureaucracy and too little transparency getting in the way of affordable, quality health care,” Mr. Grassley and Mr. Wyden told CNBC. "We've heard from pharmaceutical companies, and it’s only fair that the committee has the opportunity to ask questions of other players in the healthcare supply chain."

The committee's April hearing will be the third on drug pricing this year. Last month, seven pharmaceutical executives testified before Congress.

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