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Leading Antitrust Senator Raises Serious Doubts About Proposed Express Scripts-Medco PBM Merger
Date:2/2/2012

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The head of the Senate's antitrust subcommittee voiced major concerns today over the proposed mega-merger of prescription drug middlemen Express Scripts and Medco, and the National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) saluted the lawmaker's efforts.

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Senator Herb Kohl, (D-Wis.), chairman of both the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, competition policy and consumer rights as well as the Senate Aging Committee, sent a cautionary letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) expressing doubts about the merger of the two enormous pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The FTC is currently reviewing the proposed merger, which is opposed by several of the nation's leading consumer advocates.

"Express Scripts' proposed merger with Medco will unquestionably create a giant PBM that is substantially larger than any competitor, and will result in the combined entity having a dominant market share in mail order and specialty pharmacies," Chairman Kohl wrote. "It will reduce choices for PBM services to health plan sponsors, especially large employers.  And it has the potential to have profound effects on the ability of both community and chain drug stores to compete."

"We sincerely appreciate Chairman Kohl's leadership in standing up for pharmacy competition and patient access to local pharmacists," said NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA. "On behalf of small business community pharmacists and their patients, NCPA has opposed this merger from day one and will continue to fight against its approval. This merger is the wrong prescription for the country because it will reduce patient access to pharmacy services, undermine competition and le
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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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