US: Senators urge greater FTC scrutiny over pharma mega-mergers

Nine senators sent a letter to FTC Chairman Joseph Simons urging greater scrutiny over like the one between BMS and Celgene, expressing concern over antitrust issues, innovation and drug pricing.

In a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons this week, the senators urged the agency to closely scrutinize mergers in the biopharma industry that raised issues around competition, especially as rising costs of prescription drugs have become a significant public policy issue.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minnesota and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights led the letter. Seven other Democratic senators – Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, Kamala Harris of California, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Tina Smith of Minnesota and independent Bernie Sanders of Vermont were also signatories. Klobuchar, Booker, Harris, Warren and Sanders are also running for president on the Democratic ticket.

“This industry consolidation is occurring against a backdrop of ever rising prescription drug spending and reports that one-in-four people taking prescription drugs have difficulty affording their medication,” the letter read. “It is more important than ever that the FTC take appropriate action to protect consumers.”

Full Content: Klobuchar

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