Three members of Congress representing South Dakota requested that the Federal Trade Commission pay special attention (PDF) to the proposed merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, in a letter to Jon Leibowitz, chairman of the FTC.
S.D. lawmakers urge FTC to scrutinize Express Scripts-Medco deal
Democrat Sen. Tim Johnson and Republicans Sen. John Thune and Rep. Kristi Noem wrote that they wanted to “relay concerns of our constituents about how it could affect consumers and patients, particularly in rural areas with a high proportion of community and independent pharmacies.” Separately, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) raised similar objections in his own letter to Leibowitz.
The moves garnered the support of the National Community Pharmacists Association. “Concern about this merger is bipartisan, bicameral and widespread. If approved, we fear it would reduce patient choice and access to pharmacy services, and ultimately, result in higher prescription drug costs,” B. Douglas Hoey, CEO of the association, said in a news release.
The NCPA said that 33 members of Congress have voiced concerns about the merger. Earlier this month, senators questioned company executives about possible negative effects of the merger at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee.
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