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Biden Delays Drug Rebate Rule That GAO Says Violates Review Law

Jan. 29, 2021, 2:03 PM

The HHS Friday hit pause on a rule that alters payments from drugmakers to pharmacy middlemen, delaying the former administration’s policy until March 22.

The final rule (0936-AA08) would replace current rebates, which fluctuate based on a drug’s list price, with fixed-fee arrangements. Drug companies say the current system forces them to keep prices high because the middlemen—pharmacy benefit managers who help decide how a drug will be covered by insurance—demand high discounts to give products preferential treatment. The rule was slated to take effect Jan. 29.

The goal of the Department of Health and Human Services’ rule...

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