NCPA Urges Senators to Examine Consolidation, Impact of PBM Corporations

National Community Pharmacists Association CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, issued the following statement regarding today's hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.

PRESS RELEASE

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Sept. 22, 2015) - National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA) CEO B. Douglas Hoey, RPh, MBA, issued the following statement regarding today’s hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights.

“The Senate is right to hold this hearing to look into significant consolidation among health insurance companies. It is an appropriate time for such a review and we encourage lawmakers to also examine the effects of consolidation in the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) corporation industry.

“Independent community pharmacists and their patients are negatively impacted by the take-it-or-leave-it contracts imposed by PBM corporations that utilize their market dominance to avoid any meaningful negotiation. This dynamic also fosters restrictions on patient medication access and choice of pharmacy even when they are not in the best interest of health plan sponsors, such as employers and the government.

“A recent House subcommittee hearing

broached these issues

. Expert witnesses expressed to Congress their concern that PBM corporation consolidation may limit competition and may be ripe for review by regulators such as the Federal Trade Commission.

“Congress and regulators alike should not take at face value the claims by the merging parties that consolidation will necessarily increase efficiencies and drive costs down. Moreover, any supposed merger ‘savings’ must be passed along to consumers.

“NCPA will continue to closely monitor the rampant consolidation in the marketplace and to fight for patient choice and access and the vital role of independent community pharmacists to health care.”