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Matt Rourke / AP

Republican Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia does not like the pharmacy benefit management industry, and he and others in Congress are ready and willing to regulate those companies, which serve as middlemen in the drug supply chain. "There's several things that are going to be coming up," Collins told Axios Tuesday.

I truly believe the PBM industry is one of the most detrimental pieces of health care.

Looking ahead: Collins, who has been in touch with the new Energy and Commerce Chairman Greg Walden, said he will reintroduce and add items to his 2015 bill that would have required greater transparency of the rebates, fees and costs tied to pharmacy benefit managers. Republican Morgan Griffith of Virginia also has sponsored legislation that would prohibit pharmacy benefit managers and other companies that sell Medicare Part D plans from reducing pharmacy claims retroactively.

Collins said Congress is turning up the heat after the EpiPen pricing backlash brought more attention to how pharmacy benefit managers get their cut of rising drug prices. "A lot of people assumed the big drug companies were just jacking up prices and manipulating the system. But you have to look at this other issue of the PBMs. It was sort of a hidden issue because they want to stay hidden," said Collins, who has received campaign funds from community pharmacists.

Why this matters: It's not clear any proposed legislation would significantly alter the business models of pharmacy benefit managers, who say they are innocent. But the growing list of political critics is an inauspicious sign for the industry, which is dominated by CVS, Express Scripts and UnitedHealth Group's OptumRx.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a powerful and potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring an array of hazards, from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten coastal property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Republican-led Pennsylvania court deems mail-in voting law unconstitutional

Workers count ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Republican-led Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled that the state's mail-in voting law is unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Three Republican judges sided with Republican challengers and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state's constitution. Two Democrats on the panel dissented.

2 hours ago - World

China's ambassador warns Taiwan could spark "military conflict" with U.S.

Photo: Liu Jie/Xinhua via Getty Images

China's ambassador to the U.S. warned in a rare interview with NPR that if Taiwanese authorities "keep going down the road for independence," it would "most likely" lead to a "military conflict" between the U.S. and China.

Why it matters: Chinese officials rarely speak in such blunt terms, but veteran diplomat Qin Gang was unequivocal: "The Taiwan issue is the biggest tinderbox between China and the United States."