FTC waves stop sign at Omnicare deal
The FTC's suit, filed in late January, was not unexpected. The commission asserted that the two merged companies would control 57% of the pharmacy services in the long-term care market.
The suit says competition would suffer, and potentially result in higher prices for Medicare-covered drugs.
“If Omnicare is allowed to purchase its biggest and only national competitor, it will diminish competition and raise healthcare costs — leaving taxpayers and patients to foot the bill,” Richard Feinstein, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said in a statement.
PharMerica said it supported the FTC lawsuit.
“We are pleased the FTC has made a prompt decision to resolve the competitive issues surrounding Omnicare's attempted hostile takeover of PharMerica Corporation,” said PharMerica CEO Gregory S. Weishar.
Omnicare made a public offer to buy PharMerica for $715 million in September. Each company operates in 40-plus states, with Omnicare owning 200 long-term care pharmacies and PharMerica 97.