US FTC to Sue Drug Middlemen Over Insulin Prices, Source Says

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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission plans to sue the three largest pharmacy-benefit managers – UnitedHealth, Cigna, and CVS Health – over their negotiation tactics for drug prices, including insulin. Pharmacy benefit managers act as intermediaries between drug companies and consumers, negotiating fees and discounts with manufacturers. The three biggest PBMs are UnitedHealth’s Optum unit, CVS Health’s CVS Caremark, and Cigna’s Express Scripts. CVS Health argues that limiting PBM negotiating tools would benefit the pharmaceutical industry, while UnitedHealth declined to comment and Cigna did not respond. The FTC is also investigating insulin makers including Sanofi, Novo Nordisk, and Eli Lilly.

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