ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The merger agreement between Medco Health Solutions and Express Scripts announced Thursday has drawn objections from retail pharmacy trade groups.
In a joint statement on Thursday, National Community Pharmacists Association EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey and National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson said Express Scripts’ $29.1 billion acquisition of Medco would “exacerbate [pharmacy benefit managers’] detrimental effect on pharmacy patient care.”
“Today’s announcement that Express Scripts will buy Medco creates a middle man that is too big to play fair and will have immense power to unfairly dominate the market,” a statement by Hoey and Anderson read. “This combination will monopolize control of the supply line for brand and generic prescription drugs, [it will] threaten access to pharmacy patient care and [it] is a bad deal for America, for healthcare plans, for pharmacies and — most notably — for patients.”
The organizations said they would consult with the Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general and other officials to determine the next steps they would take.
“Community pharmacy services help to improve patient health and lower overall healthcare costs,” the statement read. “Unfortunately, practical and rhetorical actions by the PBM community have increasingly ignored, and treated with irrational hostility, the vital importance of the patient-pharmacist relationship.