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National Coalition Continues Fight to Stop the Express Scripts/Medco Merger in Nation's Capitol
Date:12/1/2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Just days before the Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights hearing to investigate the proposed merger between Express Scripts Inc. and Medco Health Solutions consumers, small business owners and community pharmacists with Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! (PCPAN) traveled to Washington, D.C. today, to oppose the deal.  While in town, PCPAN members and leadership met with elected representatives on Capitol Hill and others.

The coalition expressed concerns that an approved merger would combine two of the nation's three largest pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), giving the consolidated mega-PBM the unfettered ability to increase prices and reduce access to pharmacy services.  There is widespread concern from elected officials including attorneys general in dozens of states, pharmacy service providers, consumer advocates, patient advocates and others.  All have expressed concerns that approving this merger would result in increased costs for lesser quality health care.

"Approving this merger would give the consolidated PBM the unchecked ability to steer consumers away from community pharmacies until, eventually, they no longer have a choice," said Eva M. Clayton, chair of Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! (PCPAN).  "In many areas, pharmacists are the most accessible health care professional, providing important services at affordable prices and at convenient times and locations, and fazing them out of the health care system wouldn't just be inconvenient, it would be disastrous – particularly for those in underserved communities.  We need to make sure that this doesn't happen and oppose the merger between Express Scripts Inc. and Medco Health Solutions."

PBMs are the largely unregulated drug middlemen that manage prescription drug benefit programs for employers, unions, health plans and others.&
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SOURCE Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! (PCPAN)
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