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FTC Announces Agenda for November 8 Workshop on Examining Competition Issues Related to Prescription Drug Markets

The Federal Trade Commission has announced an agenda for its upcoming workshop on competition issues related to prescription drug markets. The workshop, titled “Understanding Competition in Prescription Drug Markets: Entry and Supply Chain Dynamics,” will take place on November 8, 2017 at the FTC’s Constitution Center Auditorium, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, DC. The event begins at 8:30 a.m.   

Acting FTC Chairman Maureen K. Ohlhausen and U.S. Food and Drug Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb will give the keynote addresses.

The first session of the workshop will explore generic drug markets, including considerations that may preclude entry after relevant patents have expired. Panelists will discuss price and non-price factors that may influence entry in these markets. The second session will evaluate intermediaries in the pharmaceutical supply chain, focusing on pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and group purchasing organizations (GPOs). Panelists will discuss how the contractual relationships between intermediaries, manufacturers and health plan sponsors ultimately affect the prices consumers pay for prescription drugs. Throughout the day, speakers will discuss means to encourage entry and eliminate competitive impediments in prescription drug markets.

To help promote discussion on these questions, the FTC is inviting comments on a variety of questions including:

  • Do generic drug manufacturers have sufficient incentives to enter markets where the brand drug is off-patent? Do policymakers or market participants have a role in providing incentives to encourage entry decisions that better align with the public interest?
  • Some report strategies to reduce generic drug competition when the branded drug is off-patent. Are these reports accurate? If so, what steps are taken to reduce competition? If not, are there other reasons why generic entry is not seen as robust? What can be done?
  • What role do intermediaries, such as pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and group purchasing organizations (GPOs) play in prescription drug pricing, consumer access, and quality? What are the benefits and costs of intermediaries in the pharmaceutical supply chain? Has consolidation affected price, access, or quality?
  • How do companies assess the benefits, costs, and risks of contracting with intermediaries? How well do consumers understand intermediaries’ roles? Is more information necessary?
  • How should stakeholders evaluate proposals to reduce drug prices and increase consumer access in prescription drug markets? What role can the FTC play in addressing these issues?

The workshop is free and open to the public, and will be webcast live on the FTC’s website. Registration information, an agenda, directions to the FTC Conference Center and a list of speakers are available on the event web page. Advance registration is not required, but is strongly encouraged.

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