NCPA commends Texas Republican Congressman John Carter for writing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to raise questions regarding the proposed mega-merger of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) Express Scripts and Medco. He’s the 75th Senator or Representative to question the merger.
Rep. Carter’s letter comes as Express Scripts representatives are reportedly in Washington talking up the deal. He urged the FTC to conduct a thorough investigation and cited a government report which found that “pharmacy discounts were not always passed on to the beneficiaries and the Government” by PBMs. Citing the Express Scripts-Walgreens contract dispute and breakup, Rep. Carter is also concerned about local pharmacies and the jobs they provide.
“The potential loss of business as a result of this merger could result in staff layoffs, reduction in patient services, or even pharmacy closings,” Rep. Carter wrote. “Independent pharmacy closings would have a negative affect not only on patients, but on our economy which depends on small businesses to thrive.”
NCPA will continue working with the FTC, Members of Congress, state attorneys general, consumer groups and others to share how the merger could reduce pharmacy choice, competition and increase prescription drug costs.