On Wednesday, November 28, CVS announced that it has completed its acquisition of Aetna. The merger between one of the largest health insurers and one of the biggest drugstore chains was a year in the making. Last month marked the final hurdle, when the Department of Justice (DOJ) approved the merger on the condition that Aetna divest its Medicare Part D prescription drug business to ensure there was no overlap between the CVS and Aetna Medicare Part D plans.
As we reported, the AMA released a statement expressing its disappointment that the DOJ did not block the merger. The AMA vigorously opposed the merger and presented the DOJ with an analysis that found it would untimely increase premiums and drug spending for out-of-pocket costs. Additionally, the AMA’s analysis found the merger will create a reduction in competition in health insurance markets that will ultimately reduce the quality of insurance.
As a result of the completed acquisition, the combined company will likely incentivize Aetna beneficiaries to fill prescriptions using CVS pharmacies rather than other local pharmacies.