Lawsuit Could Delay Express Scripts-Medco Merger

Daniel Weiss, Senior Editor
Published Online: Thursday, March 22, 2012
Follow Pharmacy_Times:
Even if the FTC approves Express Scripts’ bid to buy Medco, several states are considering a lawsuit that could delay the deal from being finalized.

Attorneys general from 5 states are reportedly considering a lawsuit that could delay Express Scripts Inc’s plan to purchase Medco Health Solutions Inc, which would result in the country’s largest pharmacy benefits manager. According to a Bloomberg report, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and California plan to file the suit if the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approves the deal without adequate protection against increased prescription prices and reduced options for consumers.
Combined, Express Scripts and Medco would oversee 34% of US prescriptions this year, although this would drop to 29% next year due to UnitedHealth Group’s decision to switch from Medco to an in-house pharmacy benefits manager. A total of 25 states, including the 5 listed above, are scrutinizing the proposed merger for potential antitrust violations.
When the merger was first proposed in July 2011, many anticipated that it would face significant opposition from the FTC, but in recent weeks the agency has appeared close to granting approval. Earlier this month, the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association, both adamantly opposed the merger, told the Wall Street Journal that they had responded to the FTC’s request for input regarding conditions that could be attached to the merger to ensure that it would not stamp out competition.
A decision from the FTC on the merger had been due by the end of the month, although this deadline could be extended if necessary. Representatives of Express Scripts and Medco have said they expect the deal to be completed within the first half of this year.
Check out our previous coverage of the Express Scripts–Medco merger:

NCPA, NACDS Voice Concerns over Proposed Express Scripts-Medco Merger

Express Script-Medco Merger: The Beginning of the End?
Congressional Concerns Over Express Scripts-Medco Merger Continue to Grow

Related Articles
Using a tube of sealant as a fake gun, a man robbed a pharmacy in Piedmont, Oklahoma, but was caught by police in less than 5 minutes.
A young boy threatened to kill everyone at a CVS pharmacy in Indianapolis, Indiana, before leaving with a brown paper bag full of stolen pills on January 19, 2015, according to The Associated Press (AP).
If you find yourself wondering whether you’ll get more value from buying or renting your pharmacy school textbooks, then a new online tool may be a helpful resource.
Medicine has come a long way since my first memory of interacting with a physician about 40 years ago.
Latest Issues
  • photo
    Pharmacy Times
    Health-System Edition
    Directions in Pharmacy
    OTC Guide
    Generic Supplements
  • photo
    Pharmacy Careers
    Specialty Pharmacy Times