CAMP HILL, Pa. — The merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions "could bring an end to community-based pharmacies and the convenient services provided there," according to the Pennsylvania Pharmacy Council.
The PPC — a partner council of the Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association, a statewide trade association representing more than 1,100 retail food stores, and represents the legislative and regulatory interests of in-supermarket pharmacies — said the concentrated market share would give ESI and Medco "unprecedented power" to drive business away from community pharmacies and toward the PBMs' mail-order businesses.
"Community pharmacists are accessible health providers that patients see regularly for medications and for personalized counseling," PPC SVP Randy St. John said. "They work in concert with other health professionals to ensure that patients receive the services they need to prevent illness or to get well. But the proposed Medco-ESI merger could bring an end to community-based pharmacies and the convenient services provided there."
PPC is one of several organizations that have recently spoken out in opposition of the merger, which would unite two of the three largest PBMs in the country.