In response to a request from Rep. Henry Waxman, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the GAO has issued a report examining Pharmacy Services Administrative Organizations (PSAOs), which are used primarily by independent pharmacies to interact with drug wholesalers, third-party payers, and other entities. The report includes data from 2011 and 2012 regarding:

  1. the number of PSAOs (at least 22) and the number of pharmacies that contract with PSAOs (between 20,275 and 28,343);
  2. the services PSAOs offer (including contract negotiation, communication, and help-desk services, among others) and how they are paid for these services (usually a monthly fee for a bundle of services paid by a member pharmacy); and 
  3. the entities that own PSAOs (the majority are owned by drug wholesalers and independent pharmacy cooperatives) and the relationships between owners and the pharmacies they represent (which vary).