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Support the Express Scripts-Medco Health Solutions Merger:
A Letter to the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights.

December 5, 2011

The Honorable Herb Kohl
Chairman, Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights
U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
224 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Senator Kohl:

   On behalf of American taxpayers, I write to urge you and your colleagues on the Subcommittee to consider fully supporting the Express Scripts-Medco Health Solutions merger.  This merger will permit these industry leaders to pursue greater savings on prescription medicines for patients, employers, and taxpayers.

   As you may know, NTU’s mission on behalf of fiscal responsibility and economic freedom has long included advocating for sensible federal regulatory policies toward mergers and competition, in sectors ranging from software to telecommunications to health care. Our experience tells us that an Express Scripts-Medco Health Solutions merger would result in benefits to consumers and the economy.

   It is clear that cost issues surrounding prescription drugs can only be addressed through an open and competitive marketplace, despite the intentions of ongoing government-directed efforts to impact their prices.  Uniquely in the health care industry, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) lower prescription drug costs and improve safety by managing drug benefits for many private and taxpayer-funded health insurance plans.  

   PBMs help control drug spending by leveraging purchasing power when negotiating with drug manufacturers – both brand and generic – and pharmacies for the fairest prices for their clients.  Also, by evaluating incoming patient prescriptions for adverse drug interactions, availability of less-costly, medically-appropriate generic medications, and through the use of other clinical and economic tools, PBMs safely reduce drug-related spending for their clients.  These efforts have had a tremendously positive impact on our health care system overall – 50 percent of which is supported by taxpayer dollars.

   Government interventions, whether through imposition of unnecessary regulations or interruption of industry evolution, would severely compromise the ability of PBMs to introduce more efficiency and safety in the provision of prescription drugs to millions of employer-sponsored insurance beneficiaries.  Especially during this time of major economic and fiscal uncertainty, we cannot afford to unnecessarily pay more for prescription drugs. 

   Because the PBM industry is so competitive, market participants have developed distinct tools and methods for achieving savings and providing quality care for clients and their beneficiaries.  The proposed merger between Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions would then combine the best practices of each company to further empower patients with greater and safer prescription choices and savings.

   Impeding the merger of two companies that have been hugely successful in lowering costs sends a message to the health care industry that government leaders continue to believe they know best how to address the problems facing our health care system.   I hope you and your Subcommittee colleagues will consider supporting real health care reform –represented in the form of this merger – that wouldn’t cost taxpayers one cent to enact.


Duane Parde, President


Cc: Ranking Member Lee and Members of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights