On Capitol Hill Tuesday, the Preserve Community Pharmacies Access NOW! (PCPAN) coalition and other local groups joined with Reps. Joe Courtney (D-Ct.) and Thomas Marino (R-Pa.) to voice their opposition to the merger of Express Scripts, Inc. and Medco Health Solutions, Inc., two of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits management companies. There is a push to urge Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to oppose the merger.
This merger could go into effect, if approved, in early 2012. Several elected officials, attorney generals of dozens of states, pharmacy service providers, consumer advocates, and patient advocacy groups have questioned the merger.
During their visit, the coalition expressed concerns that the merger would mean that the new mega-PBM would control the supply line of brand-name and generic drugs, as well as hurting health care quality and limiting access to community pharmacies driving prices through the roof.
Kelly Williams, past president of the Virginia Dental Hygienists’ Association said, “The merger would make it difficult for smaller community pharmacies to keep their doors open, resulting in reduced competition, and reduced competition means cost increases for the public.”
Joining Williams to express concern about the pending merger was William Towler, who owns Grove Avenue Pharmacy in Richmond. If this merger goes through, there would be a detrimental impact on Towler’s business and other small community pharmacies across the Commonwealth of Virginia.