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

ven the high prices and profits to be made from specialty drugs – estimated to be 2% of all prescriptions, but 20% of pharmaceutical spending and growing – the FTC should scrutinize this issue very closely."

On lower reimbursement rates and impact on patient access to community pharmacies:  "[S]ubstantial doubt exists as to whether any declines in reimbursement rates would in fact be passed on to plan sponsors.  First, the decline in competitor PBMs for large plan sponsors discussed above will significantly reduce the competitive pressure on the combined Express Scripts/Medco PBM to pass on such savings.  Second, there is considerable doubt that PBM mergers in the past have resulted in any savings being passed on to plan sponsors.  While the promise that reduced reimbursement payments will in fact be passed on to plan sponsors is very speculative, the evidence we received at our hearing is that the threat to pharmacies is very real.  I urge the FTC to carefully evaluate whether it is likely that the combined PBM will pass on to plan sponsors any reduction in reimbursements paid to pharmacies as a result of this deal."

The National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA®) represents the interests of America's community pharmacists, including the owners of more than 23,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent a $93 billion health care marketplace, dispense nearly 40% of all retail prescriptions, and employ more than 315,000 people, including 62,400 pharmacists.  Independent community pharmacists are readily accessible medication experts who can help lower health care spending. They are committed to maximizing the appropriate use of lower-cost generic drugs and reducing the estimated $290 billion that is wasted annually by improper medication use. To learn more go to www.ncpanet.org or read NCPA's blog, The Dose, at

SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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