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FDA takes aim at drug pricing rebates

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb testifies.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb criticized drug rebates Thursday. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said at an industry conference Thursday that the government could re-examine the federal law that says prescription drug rebates aren't considered kickbacks.

Why it matters: Gottlieb said the nation's rising drug prices are due in part to "the system of rebates between payers and manufacturers." Making rebates illegal would take a hatchet to companies like pharmacy benefit managers, but it's unclear how it would affect what the country ultimately pays for drugs.