Coalition calls on consumers to ask Congress, FTC to oppose ESI-Medco merger

WASHINGTON — The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition, which is a coalition of consumers, businesses and community-based pharmacists from across the country that have come together to oppose the planned mega-merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, has issued a call to action to protect Americans from rising costs and decreased access to health care by stopping the planned merger of the PBMs.

The call to action, posted on the coalition's website, outlines what it says are the negative impacts of approving the merger and calls on consumers to sign a petition that will be sent to the Federal Trade Commission and members of Congress opposing the merger. In addition, consumers are encouraged to send letters or make phone calls to their local representatives urging them to oppose the merger.

"Approving this merger — combining two of the nation's largest PBM companies into a big, consolidated PBM with excessive control over the health care of tens of millions of Americans — would put quality care even further from reach of a general population already struggling. Such an outcome cannot be taken lightly," stated former Congresswoman Eva M. Clayton, chairwoman for the PCPAN coalition. "Americans cannot afford, now or ever, to have their healthcare costs and access to pharmacy services dictated by a mega-PBM that puts profits before people."

"Not all mergers are bad, but there is a reason that this particular one is the target of much scrutiny," added Dennis Archer, chief legal counsel for PCPAN, which is a project of Pharmacy Choice and Access Now. "The merger between Express Scripts and Medco would create a mega pharmacy benefit management company with excessive control and concentrated market share that could have serious implications for consumers and for U.S. health care in general. It should not be allowed to move forward."

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