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Worried about a lack of competition and rising drug prices, several U.S. senators have asked the Federal Trade Commission to scrutinize pharmaceutical mergers and singled out a pair of pending deals — AbbVie’s proposed acquisition of Allergan, and Bristol-Myers Squibb’s bid to buy Celgene.

In arguing for greater scrutiny, the lawmakers noted there has been a “steady increase” in mergers and acquisitions in the pharmaceutical industry and also pointed to multibillion-dollar deals announced earlier this year by Pfizer and Roche.


“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. It is more important than ever that the FTC take appropriate action to protect consumers from acquisitions that may threaten competition in drug markets, raise drug prices, or reduce patient access to essential medications,” the senators wrote to the agency.

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