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Prescription manager stocks dip after rebate change pitched

Shares of some insurers and pharmacy benefit managers were pressured Friday after President Donald Trump’s administration laid out a plan to change how prescription rebates are handled for the government’s Medicare and Medicaid programs.

CVS Health Corp., Humana Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc. all slipped less than 1 percent while broader indexes climbed in late-morning trading.

The Trump administration’s proposal, announced Thursday, would require behind-the-scenes discounts negotiated by drugmakers and pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, to be paid directly to consumers when they buy prescriptions.

PBMs say they already pass those rebates along mostly to payers like the government.

Mizuho Securities USA analyst Ann Hynes said in a note that the change could initially pose a complication for companies as they adjust to the new system.

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