CVS-Aetna merger will increase prescription drug costs for many
Hearing on anti-competitive merger outlines higher prices if approved
WASHINGTON — CVS-Aetna lawyers, consumer advocates and health care organizations gathered in Washington for oral arguments on whether the Department of Justice’s proposed final judgment in the CVS-Aetna matter is in the public interest.
U.S. Public Interest Research Group, which filed a friend of the court brief with Consumer Action, called CVS’ claim that the merger would reduce prescription drug prices “absurd.”
U.S. PIRG Consumer Watchdog Adam Garber issued the following statement:
“CVS is claiming the merger will simultaneously boost profits to investors and help save consumers money. But without an impartial party holding the combined company accountable, it is more likely than not that instead prices will go up, to the detriment of patients.
“We’re already seeing the real impacts of the merger’s so-called ‘benefits’ in places such as Ohio. In that state, CVS Caremark increased the price of specialty drugs by 1700 percent, despite the price dropping on average nationally. The combined CVS-Aetna behemoth could deliver the same painful results to millions more Americans.
“A merger that empties Americans’ wallets and endangers Americans’ health is not in the public interest. We hope that Judge Leon agrees and rejects the proposed settlement.”