Understanding Competition in U.S. Prescription Drug Markets: Entry and Supply Chain Dynamics
"I work for an independent community pharmacy. We have existed for many years in our community and have always made our patients well-being our top priority. I believe free market competition keeps all entities within any industry honest and striving for improved efficiency on a continuous basis. In the realm of prescription drugs, free competition leads to lower costs. I do not see how the acquisition of Aetna by CVS/Caremark will lead to lower drug costs for consumers. This is what we already know about CVS/Caremark: CVS is a pharmacy. CVS Pharmacy owns Caremark, a PBM that exists to manage the prescription benefits of millions of Americans. Caremark determines reimbursement rates for tens of thousands of pharmacies. They also create narrow prescription plan networks for some consumers that force them to only utilize CVS. My pharmacy is in direct competition with CVS. So, my direct competition, CVS/Caremark, is able to dictate exactly how much I am reimbursed for a prescription my pharmacy fills. My competition is able to set the co pay consumers pay in my pharmacy. My competition is also able to direct consumers to themselves over my pharmacy. Allowing them to merge with Aetna will not lower costs. It will only allow them to determine what the costs now become. I urge the FTC to please consider these facts when determining the outcome of this merger. Thank you."