- Updated October 11, 2018
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The Wall Street Journal (10/10, Mathews, Maidenberg, Subscription Publication) reports that on Wednesday, the Department of Justice gave its approval to CVS’ Health Corp.’s acquisition of Aetna Inc.
USA Today (10/10, Snider) reports, “CVS must divest Aetna’s Medicare Part D prescription drug plan business for individuals as part of the process, the DOJ said.” These “companies’ proposal to divest that business to WellCare Health Plans would satisfy the DOJ’s competition concerns, the agency said.” USA Today adds, “CVS Health said its acquisition of Aetna, announced in December 2017, is expected to close within the early part of the fourth quarter of 2018.”
The Washington Post (10/10, Fung) reports that the “$69 billion deal…could potentially transform the health-care industry and change how millions of Americans receive basic medical services.” According to the Post, “Critics of the CVS-Aetna deal had worried that the merger could lead to higher drug prices for Medicare Part D beneficiaries.” Meanwhile, “opponents such as the American Medical Association also said the acquisition could increase insurance premiums and out-of-pocket expenses more broadly.”
The New York Times (10/10, Abelson) reports that the DOJ’s approval of the merger “caps a wave of consolidation among giant health care players that could leave American consumers with less control over their medical care and prescription” medications. According to the Times, “The approval marks the close of an era, during which powerful pharmacy benefit managers brokered drug prices among pharmaceutical companies, insurers and employers.”
The Los Angeles Times (10/10, McLaughlin) reports, “CVS has said the deal will enable a variety of new medical services to be brought into its retail stores, part of its shift from corner pharmacy chain to a hub for healthcare with thousands of locations around the country.” And, “it could…help steer Aetna customers into its stores to shop.”