Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 344

CVS-Aetna Merger: AHF Urges Court to Stop the ‘800-pound Gorilla’

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 23 luglio 2019

Friday, Judge Richard J. Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia heard closing arguments from attorneys for the parties and also from several friends of the court (amicus curiae) opposed to the nearly $70 billion acquisition of Aetna by CVS Health. While he did not issue a decision, Judge Leon stated his intent to issue that decision in the not-so-distant future, noting that the merger potentially has “grave consequences to millions of people.”Last month, amici witnesses from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the American Medical Association (AMA), Consumer Action and U.S. PIRG testified about the negative impact the merger would have on pharmacies, health plans and patients. During closing argument Friday, AHF emphasized that the judge should not rubber stamp the merger, which the U.S. Department of Justice has already blessed subject to Aetna’s divestiture of its Medicare Part D plan. Rather, AHF urged, the judge has a duty to evaluate whether the proposed settlement makes a “mockery of judicial power” because the Department of Justice failed to consider numerous concerns and harms to the public interest that will flow from the merger.At the end of its oral argument, while AHF urged the court to reject the merger settlement, AHF also proposed a third path for the court – beyond mere approval or rejection of the proposed settlement. AHF proposed that the court consider conduct remedies; that is, remedies that would address the vertical integration concerns raised by AHF. These remedies include adding to any settlement:A provision requiring that all rival pharmacies have non-discriminatory access to CVS Caremark’s pharmacy networks at fair reimbursements that cover actual drug costs and dispensing costs.
A provision that managed care plans should not be denied access to CVS Pharmacy networks, and that managed care plans’ access should be at a fair price.A provision that all Aetna plan members must be allowed to opt out of any CVS/Caremark specialty or other mail order programs.

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