Understanding Competition in U.S. Prescription Drug Markets: Entry and Supply Chain Dynamics #00501

Submission Number:
James MacDonald
Initiative Name:
Understanding Competition in U.S. Prescription Drug Markets: Entry and Supply Chain Dynamics
CVS Caremark merger with Aetna will not benefit anyone except the shareholders of the corporation. This marriage will cost the American consumer dearly going forward. Having worked in the past for CVS and seen the culture of the management, there is no doubt in my mind that there will be no savings in the reduction of drug prices to the consumer. Drug prices in the generic realm are already low - but are artificially inflated in the reimbursement and pricing structures to benefit the PBM's and there is no transparency in this system so savings can be skimmed off the top by the PBM / CVS and blame placed on other sources very easily. This merger will allow them to hide this creative accounting and large profits, and not pass the savings on to the consumer. Since the announcement of this intended merger our reimbursements have plummeted and as independent pharmacies providing an essential service to our communities, our existence is being threatened all to increase the cash flow of a PBM so they can finance their new acquisition. The analogy here is akin to SLAVERY. We as independent pharmacies work hard to make a living but are only thrown just enough revenue by the likes of CVS, to barely survive, and we have to do so under threat of being terminated if we so much as breathe in the wrong direction of one of there members. We are forbidden to divulge the cost and reimbursement details of the financial transaction with a patient whose insurance is managed by Caremark. CVS classifies this as proprietary information yet it is owned, in my opinion, by us, yet are not allowed to discuss it. As a consumer I am against this merger - as a businessman I am against this merger - and I feel this is not a fix for the health system problems we face currently, but a wolf in sheeps clothing preying on vulnerable citizens to feed their greed. Much of the revenue in the future is derived from the aging population which in turn has their health costs subsidized by TAX DOLLARS and this in turn will become a burden on the government to find a way to fund. The PBM's / CVS see this as a bottomless pit of money that they can dip their hands into as much as possible, and I do not want my children having to pay for their greed all their lives in the form of additional taxes created to fund this corporate gluttony. NO TO THE MERGER