The mega-PBM that is being created by the merger of Medco Health Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: MHS) and Express Scripts Inc. (NASDAQ: ESRX) is already being protested. Since the merger was announced, 24/7 Wall St. has received many watch-group emails protesting this merger as being anti-competitive or anti-consumer. Former Congresswoman Eva M. Clayton, chairwoman of the Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition, noted that this harmful mega-PBM merger must be stopped after the nationwide coalition responded after the FTC voted 3-1 to close this merger investigation.
Then there is another one from Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency, an independent watchdog organization dedicated to exposing the role PBMs play in driving up prescription drug costs for consumers and employers. This group noted that drug costs will rise and the group denounced the deal as a license to price-gouge the consumer. Specifically, its press release cited the following: “The FTC has given the PBMs the green light to consolidate their outsized power and continue driving up the costs of prescription drugs. The decision will negatively impact plan sponsors that contract with PBMs and consumers looking for affordable medication.”
Investors who made bets on this merger are certainly happy. We are not exactly convinced that this merger’s “savings” will be passed on directly to the consumer as much as the companies have represented. We will see …
JON C. OGG