What the CVS-Aetna deal means for consumers

07 Декабря, 2017, 19:16 | Author: Leticia Walters
  • Outside of Aetna's corporate headquarters in Hartford Conn

Under the terms of the deal, Aetna would continue to be run by its existing management team and would operate as a standalone business in the combined company.

It's unlikely that CVS will really transform itself from a pharmacy company to an integrated health care company, says Martin Gaynor, a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University.

"Consumers have to be concerned about removal of competition in the marketplace", he said.

The second-largest US drugstore chain is buying Aetna (AET), the third-largest health insurer, in a $69 billion deal in order to push much deeper into customer care.

He said that the CVS-Aetna merger can eliminate much of the "unnecessary complexities" consumers face when seeing a doctor and create a "new front door to the health care system".

Together, UnitedHealthCare and Optum have already taken business away from CVS, said Ana Gupte, a health care analyst for investment firm Leerink.

It's also not certain if this will mainly be good for the 90 million customers of CVS and Caremark as well as the 23 million people who have Aetna insurance or if people with other insurance and pharmacy plans can also benefit.

Health insurers meanwhile have sought to cut costs amid steep prescription drug price rises and requirements to care for even the sickest patients under the Affordable Care Act. "If you're responsible for all the medical costs that can ensue if people don't get their diabetes medications, then you may want a smaller co-pay". "Many are pushing for more health care services to happen in pharmacies, and this is one mechanism to make that happen".

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But advocacy groups have criticized the deal.

Bloss worries Aetna patients could be forced to get services from CVS.

Gupte predicted that the merger could prompt CVS rivals to consider similar deals of their own. "It doesn't work effectively in controlling costs".

Aetna (aet) shareholders stand to receive $207 per share in the deal with CVS (cvs), the companies said.

The acquisition will set CVS back $69 million, making it one of the largest deals of the year. "The real potential here is for changing how healthcare is delivered in primary care settings", he says.

But four antitrust experts said there is little doubt the deal will be approved, although it might need to meet conditions to convince antitrust enforcers to sign off.

The only pricier deals involving companies based our six-state region were: Bell Atlantic Corp.'s purchase of Conn. -based GTE Corp., which was valued at $71.3 billion and completed in 2000; and Conn. -based Charter Communications Inc.'s purchase of Time Warner Cable Inc., which was valued at $78.4 billion and completed in 2016.

CVS and Aetna argue that their deal will lower healthcare costs for employees of their large corporate customers, giving the company greater clout to negotiate down drug prices and better manage the use of those medicines. Regulators also sued to stop Aetna's proposed $34 billion purchase of Humana Inc. - a deal that fell apart earlier this year. "There has to be a concern there that CVS...and Aetna subscribers are going to be controlled by the merger".

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