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Nationwide Coalition Applauds United Mine Workers For Voicing Concern Over Proposed ESI/Medco Merger

WASHINGTON, March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! (PCPAN) coalition today applauded the United Mine Workers (UMW) for raising concern about the proposed merger between Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI) and Medco Health Solutions, two pharmacy benefit management (PBM) companies.  In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the UMW said the merger could negatively affect over 100,000 active and retired union mine workers.

UMW is a growing union with a diverse membership that includes coal miners, clean coal technicians, health care workers, truck drivers, manufacturing workers and public employees throughout the United States.  They are focused on securing a safe workplace, good wages and benefits.

"Our concern is that the proposed acquisition will result in less competition in the PBM market and will lead to higher prices for prescription drugs for union negotiated health plans and the working families they serve," the letter states.  "We are also concerned that the proposed merger would give Express Scripts over 50 percent share of the specialty pharmacy market, which is one of the fastest growing segments of the prescription drug market."

Last July, Express Scripts and Medco announced a $29 billion merger agreement that could take effect as soon as early 2012.  An approved merger would combine two of the nation's three largest PBMs, giving the consolidated mega-PBM the unfettered ability to increase prices and reduce access to pharmacy services.

UMW joins more than 80 elected officials as well as pharmacy service providers, consumer advocates, patient advocates, employers and others who have contacted the FTC to express concern about the impact of an approved merger.

"The concerns that the UMW and so many others have raised must be considered," said former Congresswoman Eva M. Clayton, chairwoman of the Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! (PCPAN) coalition. "This merger could have a dramatic impact on millions of Americans and it cannot be allowed to go forward."

The merger has been investigated by the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property, Competition and the Internet and the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.  The FTC will soon determine whether or not the deal will move forward.

Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! is a coalition of consumers, businesses and community-based pharmacists from across the country that have come together for the purpose of opposing the planned merger between Express Scripts Inc. and Medco Health Solutions Inc.  PCPAN is a project of Pharmacy Choice and Access Now.

Contact: (703) 901-9706

SOURCE Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW!
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