PBM hearing should prompt bill to ban 'secrecy' in drug industry, senator says

The Senate Finance Committee's April 9 hearing with executives from five major pharmacy benefit managers should lead to a bill that will end the "secrecy" in the drug industry and cause drug prices to drop, Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, told CNBC.

Top executives from five major PBMs — Derica Rice, executive vice president at CVS; John Prince, CEO of OptumRx; Steve Miller, MD, chief clinical officer at Cigna; Mike Kolar, interim president of Prime Therapeutics; and William Fleming, president of healthcare services at Humana — are set to testify at the hearing about PBMs role in drug pricing.

PBM executives will likely face criticism about the lack of transparency surrounding the practice of drug rebates and for not passing these discounts to patients at the pharmacy counter. In addition, senators will likely grill them about their role in the industry as a whole.

"There's a lot of secrecy. There's not a whole lot of understanding of the role they play," Mr. Grassley told CNBC. "Our goal is to end this secrecy, get to transparency. With transparency comes accountability."

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