January 31, 2019 / 9:53 PM / 20 days ago

U.S. government proposes rule changing drug industry rebate system

NEW YORK, Jan 31 (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Thursday proposed a rule to end the industry-wide system of after-market discounts called rebates that pharmacy benefit managers receive from drugmakers, a practice that has been under scrutiny.

The proposed rule from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would also apply to Medicare prescription drug benefit managers and Medicaid managed care organizations. It has been considering such a change since last year.

The Trump administration's proposed rule would allow prescription drug benefits to be offered directly to patients, and it would allow drugmakers and pharmacy benefit managers to establish fixed fee service arrangements that could replace the rebates.

Reporting by Caroline Humer Editing by Bill Berkrot

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