FDA chief hints at changes to drug rebates ahead of Trump speech

The leader of the Food and Drug Administration suggested the legal status of rebates paid by drug companies to insurers and pharmacy benefit managers could get another look to help rein in the costs of prescription drugs.

In a speech on Thursday, Scott Gottlieb said if the federal anti-kickback law that protects such rebates were changed, it could help increase competition and make drugs more affordable.

“One of the dynamics I’ve talked about before that’s driving higher and higher list prices is the system of rebates between payers and manufacturers,” Gottlieb said. “And so what if we took on this system directly, by having the federal government reexamine the current safe harbor for drug rebates?”

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By Nathaniel Weixel