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Several Congress leaders caution Tricare on proposed ESI-Medco merger

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Several Congress leaders last week penned a letter to the Department of Defense's Director of Tricare Management Activity warning of potential cost increases should the proposed merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health clear regulatory hurdles.

The joint letter to the department was signed by Reps. Walter Jones, R-N.C.; Joe Courtney, D-Conn.; Mo Brooks, R-Ala.; Bill Owens, D-N.Y.; Martha Roby, R-Ala.; Mike Rogers, R-Ala.; and Austin Scott, R-Ga. The lawmakers noted that the merger would leave the department with just two national PBMs to choose from. "We are concerned these limitations would undermine Tricare's negotiating leverage and limit Tricare's ability to demand a quality prescription drug benefit," the Congress leaders stated.

For a copy of the letter, click here.

Separately, the National Community Pharmacists Association recently sent the Pentagon advice as the Department of Defense prepares to bid out a new five-year contract. NCPA suggested Tricare require more transparency from its PBM, such as in setting adequate maximum allowable cost limits for generic drug reimbursement.

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