Aetna Merger Gets DOJ Nod as Aetna Sheds Medicare Part D

Richard Drew  Associated Press

The Justice Department's antitrust division signed off on the transaction with the caveat that the companies complete an agreed-to sale of Aetna's Medicare prescription drug plans to another insurer. The deal combines CVS' pharmacies with Aetna's insurance business, blurring traditionally distinct lines in hopes of lowering costs.

The companies have said they believe together they can improve customer health by offering more low-cost medical services in CVS's nationwide network of pharmacies, including providing chronic disease screenings and preventative care, such as blood sugar monitoring and vaccines.

The approval of the CVS-Aetna merger comes less than a month after the Justice Department greenlit the $67 billion deal between insurer Cigna Corp. and the nation's largest pharmacy benefit manager, Express Scripts.

On Wednesday, the top law enforcement officials of three states - Connecticut, New Jersey and Washington state - and the District of Columbia announced they had reached settlements with Aetna resolving allegations that the company had mishandled patient information and violated their privacy.

"The AMA worked tirelessly to oppose this merger and presented a wealth of expert empirical evidence to convince regulators that the merger would harm patients", said AMA president Barbara McAneny Wednesday in a statement.

Death Toll From Michael Rises to at Least 13
They included a 45-year-old man swept from his vehicle during a flash flood in Pittsylvania County, state police said. In Panama City, 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Mexico Beach, buildings were crushed and boats were scattered around.

The Justice Department sued and won its case to stop Aetna's $37 billion plan to acquire smaller US health insurer Humana Inc (HUM.N). But in trying to head off the worst cases, CVS and Aetna are aiming to become a part of the nation's social fabric, using the local retail pharmacy as both a window into people's lives beyond the doctor's office and assuming the role of a health-care assistant. Aetna's stock was up 1.3 percent at $206.35 a share in midday trading Wednesday while CVS' stock was up almost 1 percent at $80.22 a share.

CVS Health has characterized the merger as a way to serve customers better, noting that 70 percent of Americans live within three miles of one of its pharmacies.

Critics of the CVS-Aetna deal had anxious that the merger could lead to higher drug prices for Medicare Part D beneficiaries. WellCare Health Plans will buy Aetna's Medicare Part D business, Aetna announced late last month. Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.is the U.S.' last remaining giant standalone pharmacy chain, and its deal-friendly CEO, Stefano Pessina, has spoken about bringing together pieces of the medical supply chain. The companies maintain a prior view that the transaction will close in the early part of the fourth quarter of 2018.

Aetna previous year had tried to acquire rival insurer Humana Inc. for $34 billion, but that deal also was dropped after a federal judge blocked that merger on antitrust grounds. Anthem Inc., whose deal to acquire Cigna Corp. was blocked a year ago, is another possible acquirer.

The approvals of the CVS-Aetna and Cigna-Express Scripts deals underscore that vertical deals can still get through when companies can show the tie-up will provide consumer benefits.

Related:

  • Assassin's Creed Rebellion Announced For Mobile Devices

    Assassin's Creed Rebellion Announced For Mobile Devices

    If you'd like to play it as soon as it's out, you can pre-pregister right now on Google Play . Assassin's can be assigned to squads and dispatched onto missions to fight against Templars.
    Goosen among World Golf HOF inductees

    Goosen among World Golf HOF inductees

    Kirk Bell, who passed away in 2016, was also honoured in the lifetime achievement category alongside Payne and Walters. Stephenson was informed by Hall member Nancy Lopez and at first thought it was going to be another dose of bad news.
    Garmin debuts Instinct, a rugged Global Positioning System  watch

    Garmin debuts Instinct, a rugged Global Positioning System watch

    Garmin has been making some moves in the final months of 2018 - and its new outdoor sports watch is the Garmin Instinct . But if you are an adventurer or perhaps a first-responder, the device comes in Graphite, Tundra and Flame Red.
  • Indigenous ranger attacked and taken by crocodile in Northern Territory

    Indigenous ranger attacked and taken by crocodile in Northern Territory

    Initial reports from St John Ambulance indicated the woman was attacked by a saltwater crocodile some time this morning. The woman's body and the crocodile were found just before 5pm, less than one kilometre from the scene.
    Apple secretly acquires Danish machine learning startup

    Apple secretly acquires Danish machine learning startup

    Apple secretly bought a Danish visual effects startup Spektral for over $30 million past year , the media reported. Spektral's website notes that its solution makes it possible to create unique and immersive mixed reality content.
    Idlib Governorate’s Factions Complete Withdrawal of Heavy Weaponry from Buffer Zone

    Idlib Governorate’s Factions Complete Withdrawal of Heavy Weaponry from Buffer Zone

    HTS, which is led by former al-Qaeda fighters, has yet to comment on its reported withdrawal or announce its stance on the buffer zone deal.
  • Halloween Star Jamie Lee Curtis Responds to Claims She's Anti-Gun

    Halloween Star Jamie Lee Curtis Responds to Claims She's Anti-Gun

    Although if Jamie Lee Curtis is ever being stalked by a vicious serial killer in real life, she too, may opt to reach for a gun. What do you think of the Curtis versus Fox conflict? The film will hit the theaters on October 19.
    Facebook's 3D Photos Have Arrived

    Facebook's 3D Photos Have Arrived

    Facebook recommends you keep your subject three to four feet away and have things in the foreground and background. However, to take advantage of this feature, one needs to take a portrait mode shot from the smartphone.
    Crew member dies after fall on set of Mister Rogers movie

    Crew member dies after fall on set of Mister Rogers movie

    Emmy-winning sound mixer James Emswiller died on Friday after a fall from a two-story building during the filming of the Mr. Local police revealed that the Pittsburgh native had opted to take a smoke break on a balcony in between filming scenes.
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Prestige Emblems Revealed

    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Prestige Emblems Revealed

    That means we'll be hopping online imminently and trying to get our first Blackout win at the same time as the rest of the world. Given the Shadow Man's prominence in the Black Ops saga, his appearance in Blackout isn't terribly surprising.
    3 companies win major Air Force rocket contracts

    3 companies win major Air Force rocket contracts

    Like the New Shepard suborbital launch vehicle that preceded it, the New Glenn's first stage is created to be reusable. "These awards are a leap forward in space launch capabilities, ensuring continued USA dominance in space", said Dr.
    Princess Eugenie's royal wedding is a star-studded affair

    Princess Eugenie's royal wedding is a star-studded affair

    The one notable absence will be the Duchess of Cornwall, who is attending a longstanding engagement at a Scottish school. Also in attendance were Princess Anne and her daughter, Olympian Zara Tindall and her son-in-law, Mike Tindall.

Comments

Latest news

Educating the youth on mental health is critical
Kufre gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja to commemorate the World Mental Health Day . Obaseki made the submission in commemoration of the celebration of World Mental Health Day, marked on October 10, each year.

Michaelle Jean Loses Backing Of Canada, Quebec Governments For Francophonie Leadership
After a four-year term marked by controversy, the former governor general was considered a long shot for re-election. Despite not backing her, French President Emmanuel Macron also paid homage to Jean's defence of women's rights.

Justin Rose backs Padraig Harrington to be Europe's next Ryder Cup captain
Lee Westwood has ruled himself out of contention to be Europe's 2020 Ryder Cup captain and is instead backing Padraig Harrington for the role.

Trump calls 'loco' Federal Reserve 'too aggressive'
The Fed is an independent body and presidents in recent decades have avoided commenting publicly on its actions. The S&P 500, the market benchmark, closed over 2% lower on Thursday, its sixth straight daily decline.

PSG v Red Star game probed over betting
In a statement, the French club said its contact with Red Star for the match had been completely normal. Red Star Belgrade now sit bottom of Group C of their Champions League group.

All the Royal Family's outfits for Princess Eugenie's wedding - Meghan to Kate
He got down on one knee after the couple hiked to a attractive spot next to a lake, with a volcano in the background. It was first thought that she was going for designer Erdem, so we're happy so went for something outside of the box.

Facebook to pay just £7.4 million on 2017 UK tax bill
The bill compared with 5.1 million pounds in 2016, Facebook's British division revealed in an official document lodged last week. It is also planning to double its office space in King's Cross, London , with capacity for more than 6,000 workstations by 2022.

Johnny Depp defends JK Rowling's casting of him in Fantastic Beasts sequel
I spoke to a few producers and the director and to J.K. and had long conversations basically about the Grindelwald character. J.K. has seen the evidence and therefore knows I was falsely accused, and that's why she has publicly supported me.

Couple divorce after Google Street View captures wife stroking another man's hair
He first recognised that the woman's clothes were identical to those of his wife and then looked closer and realised it was her. And the couple, whose names have not been revealed, later divorced after the woman admitted to having had an affair.

Alexa, Dolby Vision, and more
Microsoft originally revealed its revised Avatars during E3 last year, but the updated Avatars were delayed until this year. Microsoft just announced that the system software update for the Xbox One has started rolling out today for all users.

First death from Michael in NC reported after tree falls on vehicle
North Carolina authorities say a driver has died after a tree fell on his auto as Michael's wind and rain lashed the state. - At least 11 deaths have been blamed on Michael, the most powerful hurricane to hit the continental U.S.in over 50 years.

Hazard Snubs Messi And Ronaldo In His Ballon d'Or Pick
Chelsea star Eden Hazard has been named the Premier League Player of the Month for September after a string of fine performances. Eden Hazard has capped his sensational start to the new season by winning September's Premier League Player of the Month Award.

Giants Fine Odell Beckham Jr After Comments in Interview with Lil Wayne
Then the games started and it became clear the 37-year-old Eli-phant in the room still needed to be addressed. Jeffery finished with eight grabs for 74 yards in his third game since offseason shoulder surgery.

Google Home Hub Review: Hands-on with New Smart Display
Background: Google Assistant has steadily been getting updates over the past few years, since Google launched it in 2016. That price puts the Lenovo's Smart Display at a higher cost than the Amazon's Echo Show , which goes for about $229.

China trade surplus with USA reaches record $34.1 billion
What started out as a trade war between the USA and China is showing alarming signs of escalating into a geopolitical war. Analysts had expected imports to rise 15.0 percent, compared with August's 19.9 percent.

Other news