Senior Advocacy Group Asks Congressional Leaders To Protect Seniors From Higher Prices, Loss Of Pharmacy Choices And Lower-Quality Services
(Alexandria, VA) — The 60 Plus Association (60 Plus) today sent a letter asking Congressional leaders to weigh in with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) against the proposed merger between Express Scripts, Inc. (ESI) and Medco Health Solutions, two pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) that administer prescription benefits for many health plans, including some Medicare Part D plans. 60 Plus is a non-partisan seniors advocacy group, with over 7.1 million supporters.
In the letter, 60 Plus expressed concerns about the impact of an approved merger on our nation’s seniors, in particular, telling Congressional leaders it will, ‘hurt our members and your constituents.’
“It is important to remember that seniors tend to have more chronic conditions and take more medications than other age groups, and are especially sensitive to changes in the pharmaceutical-drug sector of the health market,” the letter states. “For seniors, the ESI/Medco merger will mean higher prescription prices, fewer choices in pharmacy care, and lower-quality health services than are currently available.”
If the merger is approved, the combined ESI/Medco will control prescription drug benefits for more than 100 million Americans, and more than 50 percent of several important components of the pharmacy market, including specialty pharmaceuticals and mail-order. According to 60 Plus, this level of monopolistic control will eventually result in higher prices for all consumers and fewer choices in pharmacy care for seniors – especially those living in rural or underserved urban areas where there are few other options.
“Approving this merger will result in higher prices, loss of pharmacy choices and lower-quality services for America’s seniors,” said Jim Martin, 60 Plus Association Chairman. “This merger is anti-competitive, anti-consumer and anti-senior, and should not be allowed to proceed.
“The 60 Plus Association strongly supports free enterprise, consumer choice and the well-being of seniors. Unfortunately, the proposed ESI/Medco merger runs counter to these values. It gives two players in the PBM industry an unfair advantage in market share and in setting prices – and for the good of America’s seniors, it needs to be stopped.”