Medco/ Scripts merger concerns senator

Feb. 29, 2012 at 11:23 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 29 (UPI) -- Sen. John Boozman, R-Ark., expressed concern Wednesday about the proposed merger between Express Scripts Inc. and Medco Health Solutions.

Last July, Express Scripts and Medco -- pharmacy benefit managers -- announced a $29 billion merger agreement expected to take effect this year.

In a letter sent to the Federal Trade Commission, Boozman said there is a need to carefully consider business decisions that could facilitate anti-competitive market forces, minimize individual choice and increase consumer burdens. Boozman asked that the commission thoroughly investigate the impact of the proposed merger.

"As you know, an Express Scripts/Medco merger would consolidate two of the nation's three largest pharmacy benefit managers and provide this new entity with a dominant market share in mail order and specialty pharmacies," Boozman said in the letter. "Various groups and constituents in my state have expressed concern that this could substantially decrease competition in the pharmaceutical delivery market."

The consolidated mega-pharmacy benefit managers would gain the unfettered ability to increase prices and reduce access to pharmacy services, said The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! -- a coalition of consumers, businesses and community-based pharmacists nationwide that oppose the planned merger.

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