NCPA Cheers FTC Vote to Warn Against Outdated PBM Statements

The drastically different marketplace demands updates to PBM-related materials, NCPA says

NCPA July 20, 2023

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (July 20, 2023) – The National Community Pharmacists Association is cheering today’s vote by the Federal Trade Commission to warn against reliance on prior advocacy statement and studies related to pharmacy benefit managers that are outdated and no longer reflect current market realities. The outcome of today’s unanimous decision effectively removes a major line of defense for the PBM-insurers in litigation, arbitration and when opposing state and federal efforts at reforms that promote transparency, a more competitive marketplace, and increased competition and patient choice.

Matthew Seiler, NCPA’s general counsel, submitted oral comments to the commissioners encouraging them to vote yes on the matter. Seiler earlier flagged for the agency several of its older statements, asking if it would consider repealing or making a public statement against them if they no longer served their intended purpose.

NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA, praises today’s decision, also encouraging the commissioners and staff to continue scrutinizing PBM-insurers as part of the FTC’s ongoing 6(b) study. Hoey says:

“Even casual observers of the pharmacy benefits space know how much it has changed in recent years, after countless mergers and acquisitions and an explosion of tactics like take-it-or-leave-it contracting and patient steering. What may have been the case years ago oftentimes no longer reflects the current marketplace. Despite that, certain characters have kept touting now-obsolete statements in trying to maintain the status quo and protect PBM-insurers from reforms or calls for transparency.

“We applaud the commissioners for taking a stand with this vote, acknowledging our request that they reconsider sometimes decades-old statements that supported the role of PBMs. The massive concentration of power that nowadays allows PBM-insurers to serve as gatekeepers to the marketplace of insured lives doesn’t serve patients and doesn’t function as a fair ecosystem in which independent pharmacies and others can compete.”


Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing over 19,400 pharmacies that employ nearly 240,000 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