FTC Will Go After Schemes, Bribes & Middlemen Blocking Cheaper Prescription Drugs

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced, in a press release on Thursday, that it will bolster enforcement against any rebate schemes or illegal bribes attempting to prevent patient’s access to lower-cost competing drugs.

“Today’s action should put the entire prescription drug industry on notice: when we see illegal rebate practices that foreclose competition and raise prescription drug costs for families, we won’t hesitate to bring our full authorities to bear,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said in a press release. “Protecting Americans from unlawful business practices that are raising drug prices is a top priority for the Commission.”

The FTC is particularly concerned about the rising price of insulin, a life-saving treatment for masses of Americans, the cost of which has risen over 300% in the last twenty years.

The FTC’s enforcement policy statement notifies drug companies and prescription-middlemen that paying fees and rebates to exclude competitors’ lower-cost products from competitors can violate competition and consumer protection laws.

The Commission voted 5-0 to issue the policy statement.