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Policing drug price middlemen’s middlemen

The Federal Trade Commission on Wednesday announced that it had added massive, new drug-purchasers to an investigation into the practices of powerful drug middlemen. Critics have described those businesses, created since 2019, as another layer of opacity in the already obscure world of drug pricing.


The FTC — the federal agency tasked with policing monopolistic practices — was already investigating one tier of drug middlemen when it made Wednesday’s announcement. It said the agency had sent “compulsory orders” for information to a second tier of middlemen created and run by two of the three biggest first-tier middlemen.


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