U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta (R-Pa.) sent a strongly worded letter in opposition to the proposed mega-merger of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) Express Scripts and Medco to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) this week. NCPA applauds the Congressman and all 68 Members of Congress who have to date raised bipartisan questions and concerns about the merger.
Rep. Barletta is also a co-sponsor of the Preserving Our Own Hometown Pharmacies Act (H.R. 1146) and a member of the Small Business Committee.
Key excerpts from his letter, available here, to FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz follow below:
“I respectfully urge you to oppose the proposed merger between two of the largest companies in the pharmaceutical industry, Express Scripts and Medco. I am very concerned that combining these two companies would distort the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) industry by allowing a single company to control the pharmaceutical market, harming prescription drug consumers, distributors, and manufacturers.”
“Already, PBMs have too much control within the prescription drug supply and payment system.
“I am very concerned that the proposed merger between Express Scripts and Medco would exacerbate this problem and cause many local pharmacies to go out of business. I believe we must ensure that our laws and policies empower small businesses, such as independent pharmacies, to grow and create jobs here in the United States.
“An inherent conflict of interest exists in the PBM itself.
“Additionally, there are minimal regulations and oversight from federal and state authorities regarding PBMs.
“I again urge you to prevent creating an anti-competitive prescription drug market by opposing the pending merger between Express Scripts and Medco.”