Opposition to drug benefit merger heats up

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Proponents say patients and taxpayers stand to gain as pharmacy benefit managers force pharmacies and other drug distributors to become more efficient. 

The decision lies with the FTC, but lawmakers can bring up politically weighty concerns.

Faced with push-back from lawmakers with powerful pharmacy interests in their districts, Express Scripts has recently hired The Mathis Group and former top House Judiciary staffer Joseph Gibson to lobby on behalf of the merger.

The letter is signed by Reps. Robert AderholtRobert Brown AderholtHouse advances B agriculture bill Dems advance bill defying Trump State Department cuts Maryland raises legal tobacco purchasing age to 21 MORE (R-Ala.), Spencer BachusSpencer Thomas BachusBiz groups take victory lap on Ex-Im Bank On The Money: White House files notice of China tariff hikes | Dems cite NYT report in push for Trump tax returns | Trump hits Iran with new sanctions | Trump praises GM for selling shuttered Ohio factory | Ex-Im Bank back at full strength Export-Import Bank back to full strength after Senate confirmations MORE (R-Ala.), Jo Bonner (R-Ala.), Mo BrooksMorris (Mo) Jackson BrooksGOP lawmaker blasts Omar and Tlaib: Netanyahu right to block 'enemies' of Israel Conservatives call on Pelosi to cancel August recess Overnight Defense: Woman accusing general of sexual assault willing to testify | Joint Chiefs pick warns against early Afghan withdrawal | Tensions rise after Iran tries to block British tanker MORE (R-Ala.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas), Tom Marino (R-Pa.), McMorris Rodgers, Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Martha RobyMartha Dubina RobyThe House Republicans and Democrats not seeking reelection in 2020 Hurd retirement leaves GOP gloomy on 2020 Texas GOP lawmaker Conaway announces retirement MORE (R-Ala.), Terri SewellTerrycina (Terri) Andrea Sewell'Raise the Wage Act' would drop the hammer on the most vulnerable workers Ocasio-Cortez distances herself from ex-staffer's controversial tweet Mueller says political campaigns should report offers of foreign assistance MORE (D-Ala.), Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchOvernight Health Care: Oversight chair plans to call drug executives to testify on costs | Biden airs anti-'Medicare for All' video | House panel claims Juul deliberately targeted kids Mueller agrees investigation did not 'fail to turn up evidence of conspiracy' Live coverage: Mueller testifies before Congress MORE (D-Vt.) and Don YoungDonald (Don) Edwin YoungHouse passes bill requiring CBP to enact safety, hygiene standards GOP scores procedural win by securing more funding to enforce Iran sanctions Ex-GOP lawmakers are face of marijuana blitz MORE (R-Alaska). It follows similar letters from Sen. Tom HarkinThomas (Tom) Richard HarkinWisconsin lawmaker gets buzz-cut after vowing not to cut hair until sign language bill passed Democratic debates kick off Iowa summer sprint Key endorsements: A who's who in early states MORE (D-Iowa) and Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), Diana DeGette (D-Col.), Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Joe Courtney (D-Conn.).