Grassley Statement at Express Scripts/Medco Merger Hearing PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Monday, 12 December 2011 16:08

Statement of Ranking Member Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Senate Committee on the Judiciary,

Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights

Hearing on “The Express Scripts/Medco Merger: Cost Savings for Consumers or More Profits for the Middlemen?”

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this hearing.  Whether people know it or not, this proposed merger will affect them.  Prescription drugs are a daily part of many folk’s lives.  How those drugs are paid for and determining who gets paid what is a complex process.  At the heart of all of this are the Pharmacy Benefit Managers, or PBMs.

The combination of Express Scripts and Medco would create a company that processes almost one-third of all PBM-administered prescriptions.  Basically, one in four individuals who receive prescription drugs through a health plan will be impacted.  So, this is an important matter.  I expect the Federal Trade Commission will examine this merger rigorously, as they should.

Today this Committee has the opportunity to hear some practical concerns with the merger in a public forum.  I’m sure there will be much discussion on the legal issues that will be part of the Federal Trade Commission’s review.  However, we get the chance to listen to those who support and oppose the proposed merger. I expect the discussion will be fruitful and informative.

I’ve heard from a large number of Iowa pharmacists who raise concerns.  I’m interested to hear about the effect this merger will have on them and consumers.  There are also transparency and competition issues that deserve discussion and today’s a great opportunity to do so.

Again, thank you for holding this very important hearing, Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to hearing from the witnesses.
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