NCPA Comments to FTC/DOJ Push for Modernizing Merger Guidelines

NCPA April 21, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (April 21, 2022) – The National Community Pharmacists Association today submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice in response to the request for information on merger guidelines and enforcement.

In the comments NCPA CEO B. Douglas Hoey, pharmacist, MBA, strongly encourages the agencies to amend the guidelines to bring health care consolidation into focus. The agencies should no longer focus on mergers’ price effects alone, Hoey advises, but should focus more broadly on quality, choice, and lower costs. Clearer and more inclusive guidelines, NCPA argues, would have protected competition and consumers from harm from unchallenged mergers such as Aetna-CVS/Caremark, Cigna/Express Scripts, and Optum/Catamaran, to name a few.

“The harm caused by the consolidation is not only to competitors who are squeezed out through exclusionary practices made possible by vertical integration, but also to competition and consumers,” Hoey writes.

“Over the last 40 years, the accommodating policy toward mergers found in the current structure and application of the guidelines has resulted in a substantial lessening of competition throughout the economy. Even the simple step of more faithfully applying the guidelines as currently written would have a positive impact.”

Click here for NCPA’s comments.


Founded in 1898, the National Community Pharmacists Association is the voice for the community pharmacist, representing nearly 19,400 pharmacies that employ approximately 215,000 individuals nationwide. Community pharmacies are rooted in the communities where they are located and are among America’s most accessible health care providers. To learn more, visit