NACDS gets ready to fight back against PBMs

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — With the clock ticking on the Express Scripts-Medco deal and amped up messaging coming out of the PBM lobby, NACDS vows to roll up its sleeves and make a fist.

(THE NEWS: NACDS lays down gauntlet against PBM lobby at Regional Chain Conference. For the full story, click here)

As the article states, NACDS used the recent Regional Chain Conference to introduce the PBM threat as a new, third pillar to its menu of critical policy issues it currently faces. In addition to NACDS running ads that tell the industry's simple story, "Pharmacies. The face of neighborhood health care," NACDS president and CEO Steve Anderson and chairman Bob Loeffler also are urging industry members to participate in NACDS' Rx Impact Day meetings next month.

NACDS RxImpact Day on Capitol Hill will be held in Washington, D.C., on March 21 and 22. In its fourth year, the event will bring together advocates from all sectors of the industry to meet with key lawmakers to illustrate the unsurpassed value of community pharmacy in improving patient health and reducing costs. You can bet that this year lawmakers will get an earful about the PBM threat on Rx Impact Day.

This comes just as Bloomberg reported that two people familiar with the matter said that ESI is expected to certify to the Federal Trade Commission that it's finished providing the necessary information for the antitrust review regarding its purchase of Medco. Under antitrust law, the agency is required to act on a merger request within 30 days of the certification. Bloomberg reported that the people declined to be identified because the matter isn't public.

According to the Bloomberg report, the agency's options then include clearing the deal, suing to block it or negotiating a settlement. It could also agree with the company to extend the 30-day period. The company and the agency aren't engaged in discussions about a settlement or extension, the people told Bloomberg. The FTC isn't expected to decide on the deal until the beginning of March, one of the people told Bloomberg.

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