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Lawmakers, Pharmacists Rally Against Express Scripts-Medco Merger Proposal at U.S. Capitol
Date:11/3/2011

recent Congressional hearing, we've previously heard PBM claims of reducing costs through mergers, but prescription prices keep going up, plan sponsors keep paying more, consumers are paying higher co-pays and pharmacies are being paid less, so where's the money going?

"The marriage of Express Scripts and Medco would give one corporation control of nearly 60 percent of the mail order pharmacy market and 52 percent of the specialty pharmacy market. It could mean more wasteful mail order spending and higher price spikes for specialty drugs. The already limited pharmacy management options for the largest health plans, including the federal government, will grow further captive to the major PBMs. Currently 42 out of the Fortune 50 largest U.S. employers use the 'Big Three' – Express Scripts, Medco or CVS Caremark. It is safe to say that if the merger is green-lighted, the remaining two companies would face little, if any, resistance to raising costs, reducing choice and otherwise putting their own interests ahead of those of employers, patients and others.

"Another reason to oppose the merger is that PBMs have a history of getting their hand caught in the proverbial 'cookie jar.' PBMs have paid the states a total of $370 million for past actions, and now 28 state attorneys general are looking into the merger with a wary eye. The likelihood of further litigation will only increase in a post-merger environment.

"The unchecked, virtually unregulated growth and consolidation among PBMs also reinforces the case that Congress should pass companion bills S. 1058 / H.R. 1971,

SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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