The Medco/Express Scripts merger is not just under scrutiny by some members in Congress, but Attorneys General in 29 states, including Virginia. Recently, Financial Times reports that the proposed merger has caught the attention, due to antitrust issues, as second tier pharmacy benefits managers are starting to compete with Medco and Express Scripts.
According to a spokesperson from Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli’s office, Cuccinelli is looking into this issue, due to the fact that this merger could take away from competition in Virginia.
Since the Express Scripts-Medo Health Solutions merger could impact Virginia consumers, we are taking our role seriously to investigate whether this merger will create any anticompetitive consequences in the prescription drug market here. We have not made a determination yet of whether we feel the merger will be anticompetitive, competitively neutral, or even precompetitive. We are not opposed to the merger, but we do feel that we have a responsibility to investigate this matter thoroughly.
There are many questions and issues involving the merger, and while it is customary for Attorneys General in many states to review such mergers, this merger is particularly concerning due to the fact that Medco/Express Scripts will take away from the competition. When competition is non-existent, it is only a given that pharmaceutical prices will continue to climb. This is not something that many Virginians can afford, during these troubled economic times.