While investors may have cheered the recent $74 billion bid that Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) made for Celgene (CELG), a pair of Congressional lawmakers want federal authorities to examine the extent to which such a deal may impede competition or cause higher drug prices for Americans.
In a letter sent last Friday to the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice, Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Rep. Francis Rooney (R-Fla.) expressed concern that the takeover could reduce treatment options for patients by giving Bristol-Myers access to product lines that may either compete with or complement its current portfolio of cancer drugs.
And they also suggested Bristol-Myers will gain added leverage for negotiating placement of the medicines on formularies, which are the lists of drugs that receive favorable coverage by health plans, or offering discounts. “The larger the company, the more it can use ‘rebate walls’ to block formularies access to more affordable and or equally effective substitute products,” they wrote.
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