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News & Press: Advocacy

Exploring the Effects of Consolidation and Anticompetitive Conduct in Health Care Markets

Tuesday, March 12, 2019   (0 Comments)
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The National Community Pharmacists Association (“NCPA”) appreciates the opportunity to submit this statement on the Subcommittee’s hearing titled, “Diagnosing the Problem: Exploring the Effects of Consolidation and Anticompetitive Conduct in Health Care Markets.” NCPA represents America’s community pharmacists, including 22,000 independent community pharmacies. Together they represent a $76 billion health care marketplace, employ 250,000 individuals on a full or part-time basis, and provide pharmacy services to millions of patients every day.

In this statement, NCPA will address the potential implications consolidation in the industry, including the recently consummated merger of Express Scripts (“ESI”) and Cigna as well as the CVS HealthCorporation/Aetna merger, for which a consent decree is currently under review at the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. NCPA will highlight how consolidation in the health care industry may be contributing to higher costs and negatively impacting patient choice. In particular, to address pharmacy benefit manager (“PBM”) market dominance, NCPA has long argued for additional scrutiny of PBMs, including their inherent conflicts of interest, lack of transparency, and one-sided take- it-or-leave-it contract negotiations with independent pharmacies. We urge Congress to work with the antitrust agencies to take a closer look at PBM consolidation and vertical mergers in the health care market for their effects on patient access, costs, and competition and whether the purported savings from these mergers will, in fact, be passed on to customers.

Read full statement here (pdf)


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