Weds. panel discussion: Two major reasons consumers don’t get a fair price or effective prescription drugs

Media Contacts
Ed Mierzwinski

Senior Director, Federal Consumer Program, U.S. PIRG Education Fund

U.S. PIRG Education Fund

Experts will discuss effects of price manipulation, lack of competitive restraints

WHAT: Prescription drug pricing is one of the most flawed parts of America’s health care delivery system. Consumers often don’t get a fair price and don’t always get an effective drug because large pharmaceutical companies, Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) middlemen and health insurance providers game the system.

U.S. PIRG Education Fund is co-sponsoring a free Zoom panel in which panelists will discuss two ways consumers and patients are harmed by drug industry price manipulation and lack of competitive restraints: step therapy and rebate walls.

Step therapy refers to the practice of requiring patients to try low-cost drugs before “stepping” up to higher-priced drugs, which may unreasonably delay access to a drug that works. Rebate walls can be used to forestall competition, which is why U.S. PIRG Education Fund joined labor unions and consumer groups in opposing the inadequate conditions imposed in a recent FTC settlement of a massive pharmaceutical merger. 


  • Professor Robin Feldman, Arthur J. Goldberg Distinguished Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Innovation, UC Hastings Law

  • Dr. Madelaine Feldman, MD, FACR, Practicing Rheumatologist, President, Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations

  • Steven Newmark, Director of Policy and General Counsel at Global Healthy Living Foundation

  • Jennifer Snow, Vice President, Reimbursement & Policy Insights at Xcenda

  • Holly Vedova, Attorney Advisor, Commissioner Rohit Chopra, Federal Trade Commission

  • David Balto, Coalition to Protect Patient Choice and The Law Offices of David Balto

WHEN: Wednesday, June 24, at 12:00 PM ET

WHERE: Register for the Zoom event here.