U.S. Rep. Mike Ross Issues Statement Pressing PBM Bill after FTC Decision
4/2/2012 3:31 PM
U.S. Rep. Mike Ross (D-AR) today issued a statement expressing disappointment that the Federal Trade Commission, in a split decision, voted not to challenge the merger of Express Scripts and Medco. Ross urged the advancement of legislation to address concerns related to pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) practices.
Ross' complete statement follows:
“I am disappointed with the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) ruling allowing the merger of two of the largest Pharmacy Benefit Managers in the country, Express Scripts, Inc., and Medco Health Solutions, Inc. As a former owner of a family pharmacy, I know how competitive the industry has become, and I have concerns that together ESI and Medco Health Solutions, Inc. will wield an unhealthy power in the marketplace—a marketplace that has already created several conflicting interests that lead to higher health care costs and reduced quality for consumers.
"In light of the FTC's ruling to allow the ESI-Medco merger, H.R. 1971, the Pharmacy Competition and Consumer Choice Act, legislation I have co-sponsored, is now more important than ever. H.R. 1971 would amend the Public Health Service Act to ensure transparency and proper operation of pharmacy benefit managers (PMBs).
"Increased transparency for PBMs could result in lower premiums and copays for those enrolled in health plans. It would also provide consumers with a better understanding of manufacturer rebates and potential savings on certain prescriptions.
Requiring this transparency is beneficial for both patients and insurance plans. As a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and the Health Subcommittee, I remain committed to fighting for legislative initiatives that will best help our pharmacists be able to care for their patients by providing continued access to needed medications.”