FTC dismisses complaint after Omnicare abandons merger deal
The Federal Trade Commission dismissed the complaint it filed in January to block Omnicare’s attempt to acquire Pharmerica Corp., a rival institutional pharmacy company. The FTC voted 4-0 to dismiss the complaint after Omnicare allowed its tender offer to acquire the outstanding shares of Pharmerica to expire. “We’re gratified that Omnicare has abandoned its efforts to acquire Pharmerica,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a news release. “This deal would have harmed an especially vulnerable group of patients—those in long-term-care facilities—as well as taxpayers, who foot much of the bill under Medicare, by raising the price of drugs for Medicare Part D consumers and others” (Feb. 6, p. 14). The FTC’S administrative complaint alleged the proposed deal was anticompetitive and could have led to higher drug prices for the 1.6 million Medicare beneficiaries who reside in skilled-nursing facilities. Omnicare and Pharmerica are the two largest long-termcare pharmacy providers in the U.S. The combined company would have controlled 57% of the institutional pharmacy market, according to the FTC complaint.