NCPA President Explains the PBM Shakedown at Roundtable Event

NCPA June 23, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (June 23, 2022) – Michele Belcher, president of the National Community Pharmacists Association and owner of Grants Pass Pharmacy in Grants Pass, Ore., explained to Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan, two key lawmakers, and others how pharmacy benefit managers are gaming the system, harming patients, and driving local pharmacies out of business.

“We are so grateful to Chair Khan and the FTC for scrutinizing the anticompetitive behavior of PBMs,” said Belcher. “My peers and I have been waiting for a long time for someone in Washington to take this seriously, and we are all delighted that it’s finally happening.”

Belcher spoke at roundtable discussion Wednesday hosted by NCPA and the American Economic Liberties Project. Also participating were FTC Chair Khan, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), and Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.). Khan and the other FTC commissioners voted unanimously this month to initiate a formal study of PBM behavior. The so-called 6(b) study is essentially a civil investigation in which the FTC can subpoena documents and information from the PBMs. Brown and Carter have been two of the strongest voices in Congress calling for PBM reform.

“The PBMs offer take-it-or-leave it contracts that force pharmacists to choose between losing patients or losing money. They control access to insurance networks, steer patients to their own mail-order pharmacies, reimburse my pharmacy less than the cost of dispensing drugs, and then assess backdoor fees on my pharmacy based on confusing and arbitrary standards,” said Belcher. “As a result of these anticompetitive practices, independent community pharmacies are being forced out of business, patients are paying more for their medicine, and they are losing access to their preferred health care providers.”


Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing nearly 19,400 pharmacies that employ approximately 215,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America’s most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit