Judge to Decide if CVS-Aetna Merger is Bad Medicine
Judge Richard J. Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia will hear this week from several friend of the court (amicus curiae) witnesses opposed to the nearly $70 billion acquisition of Aetna by CVS Health Corp regarding anti-competitive concerns raised by the merger.
Amici witnesses from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the American Medical Association (AMA), Consumer Action and U.S. PIRG will testify this week regarding the negative impact the merger may have on patient and health care consumer choice in accessing medical care and pharmacy services.
WASHINGTON (June 4, 2019) To the benefit of both patients and health care consumers nationwide, a federal judge will hold an evidentiary hearing- the first of its kind—in what is known as a Tunney Act proceeding—to consider opposition to the pending $69 billion merger of Aetna and CVS Health Corp. that was voiced by friends of the court (amicus curiae), including AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF).
The Tunney Act requires that merger settlements like that proposed between DOJ (Department of Justice) and CVS/Aetna be reviewed by a federal judge to ensure that the conditions imposed on the merger sufficiently address the competitive harms identified by the DOJ.
In an order in April, Judge Richard J. Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia invited the amici to propose witnesses to testify at the hearing. The court also allowed the proponents of the merger to propose witnesses in rebuttal.
Amici witnesses from AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the American Medical Association (AMA), Consumer Action and U.S. PIRG (U.S. Public Interest Research Group) will testify this week regarding the negative impact the merger may have on patient and health care consumer choice in accessing medical care and pharmacy services.
“As the largest nonprofit provider of HIV and AIDS treatment in the country, AHF is very concerned about the CVS/Aetna merger, which will combine the largest pharmacy chain and one of the largest PBMs with the third-largest health insurer, creating a mega company that will be powerfully positioned to harm independent pharmacies, patient choice, quality of patient care, and competition in general,” said Laura Boudreau, Chief of Operations/Risk Management and Quality Improvement. “For HIV patients, the key to remaining healthy is adhering to their sometime complex medicine regimes. This can be especially hard for patients who face obstacles like stigma, comorbidities, and social determinants. The patients’ trusted providers – doctors as well as pharmacists – play a crucial role in helping patients overcome these obstacles. Consolidations of PBMs, pharmacy chains, and insurers threaten to break up the patients’ care teams and push HIV patients into faceless, nonspecialized constructs like minute clinics and meds-by-mail order that will make adherence even more difficult.”
The hearings are set to take place this week in Judge Leon’s courtroom in Washington from June 4th to June 6th.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), the largest global AIDS organization, currently provides medical care and/or services to over 1.1 million people in 43 countries worldwide in the US, Africa, Latin America/Caribbean, the Asia/Pacific Region and Eastern Europe. To learn more about AHF, please visit our website: www.aidshealth.org, find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/aidshealth and follow us on Twitter: @aidshealthcare and Instagram: @aidshealthcare.
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