Gavel with drugs Ifpharmaceutical companies aren't forthright about their role inincreasing list prices, senators on both sides of the aisle willbecome more combative. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Pharmaceutical executives looking to blame drug-plan middlemen for rising prescriptioncosts at a Senate committee hearing this week will be greetedskeptically by lawmakers, said people familiar with the panel'spreparations.

Senior officials from seven pharmaceutical giants are scheduled to appear before the Senate FinanceCommittee on Tuesday to discuss soaring drug prices, which havebecome a lightning rod in Washington. Drug companies have longpinned climbing prescription costs on rebates that pharmacy-benefitmanagers negotiate when agreeing to cover certain medicines.

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