CVS, Aetna Win U.S. Approval For $69 Billion Merger

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pharmacy chain CVS Health Corp received U.S. antitrust acclaim for its $69 billion acquisition of well being insurer Aetna Inc, the Justice Department stated on Wednesday, paving the best way for a mix the corporations say can assist lower hovering U.S. healthcare prices.

It is the second one huge fresh healthcare deal to win a thumbs up from the U.S. Justice Department. The company gave the fairway mild to well being insurer Cigna Corp’s $52 billion acquisition of the country’s greatest pharmacy get advantages supervisor (PBM), Express Scripts Holding Co, on Sept. 17.

Shares of CVS and Aetna every rose about 1 % on Wednesday, an afternoon when the wider marketplace used to be sharply decrease, with CVS buying and selling at $80.25 and Aetna at $206.00.

The deal used to be authorized provided that the corporate’s promote Aetna’s Medicare Part D prescription drug trade, the Justice division stated.

Aetna ultimate month stated it could promote all of its standalone prescription drug plans for the federal government Medicare program for Americans elderly 65 and older and the disabled to WellCare Health Plans Inc, paving the best way for the deal’s approval.

Without the divestiture the 2 firms would have owned greater than a 30 % proportion of the Medicare Part D drug plans, developing fear in regards to the quantity of keep watch over the brand new CVS would have had over the Medicare prescription drug marketplace.

Together the 2 have 6.eight million participants in Medicare Part D drug plans, the Justice Department stated.

“The divestitures required here allow for the creation of an integrated pharmacy and health benefits company that has the potential to generate benefits by improving the quality and lowering the costs of the healthcare services that American consumers can obtain,” Makan Delrahim, head of the dept’s Antitrust Division, stated in a observation.

The firms have stated they imagine in combination they may be able to beef up buyer well being by means of providing extra low-priced scientific services and products in CVS’s national community of pharmacies, together with offering persistent illness screenings and preventative care, corresponding to blood sugar tracking and vaccines.

CVS additionally has a big PBM trade.

(Reporting by means of Diane Bartz and Caroline Humer; Editing by means of Chizu Nomiyama, Susan Thomas and Bill Berkrot)

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