AbbVie faces public opposition to its merger with Allergan.

The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has been urged by advocacy groups to consider blocking the $63bn merger between the two pharma giants.

Members of the advocacy group include Public Citizen and the American Federation of Teachers with the letter to the FTC stating: “we request that the Commission investigate this proposed merger thoroughly and take all necessary action, includ(ing) blocking the merger, to prevent further harm to consumers.”

The primary concern from the Advocacy group arises from the fact that if the company were to merge it would become the fourth largest pharma company. And they worry that the company would use this newly emphasized power and size to increase the use of volume-based rebates or other incentives to insurers or pharmacy benefit managers. There also continues to be concerns that the merger could lead to dominant market share in certain therapy areas.

This merger has continued to split investors and analysts. With one half in the mind along with AbbVie that this deal will add $16bn annually to revenues that will help to preserve the bottom line when the US patent for $20bn blockbuster Humira expires.

However, there are those that believe the deal is adding AbbVie with debt and doing little to diversify AbbVie’s pipeline. And with Allergan’s blockbuster Botox facing increased competition from migraine drugs and medical aesthetic drugs, that source of revenue can also not be depended on.

AbbVie’s chief legal officer, Laura Schumacher told analysts that AbbVie does not expect significant issues with the FTC approval process but added there are a few small product overlaps that they have agreed to divest promptly.

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