Citing PBM Concerns, Crawford Urges Review of CVS/Aetna Merger

Washington – Earlier today, Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-1) sent letters to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Acting Chairwoman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission Maureen Ohlhausen expressing “grave concern” over the proposed acquisition of Aetna Inc. by CVS Health.  

In the letter, Crawford writes “[CVS Caremark] has already run amok in my state by severely undercutting reimbursements to pharmacists…CVS Caremark and another PBM operating in the state paid community pharmacies on average between negative $2 to negative $4 per prescription across the entire market basket of services.”

The letter continues, “I earnestly request that, in addition to closely examining the consequences of a CVS/Aetna merger, that you also consider the broader question of PBMs’ owning retail and mail-order pharmacies and setting reimbursement rates…PBMs’ actions have led to laws being broken, self-dealing occurring, competition decreasing, access to provider of choice eroding, and complete failure of the pharmacy marketplace.”

After sending the letter, Crawford released the following statement:

Considering that drug prices are already a challenge for rural Americans, I’m urging the Justice Department and the FTC to thoroughly review a merger between CVS Caremark and Aetna. We need more competition in the marketplace, and a vertical integration of this proportion will likely limit choices and access for patients while also driving up prices and putting community pharmacists out of business.”

The letters may be found here and here.

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