CVS’ plans of acquiring the health insurance company, Aetna, has got the final nod from a federal judge reviewing the Justice Department’s original decision. The federal judge stated that the deal was completely within the law and had nothing that broke the antitrust law. Judge Richard Leon had originally planned to list accounts from the critics of the deal, but ultimately ended up allowing the deal to go through.
To maintain a healthy competition, the U.S. government had approved a plan for the merger on condition that Aetna’s Medicare prescription drug plan business would be going to WealthCare Health Plan Inc. Leon however was not entirely convinced that government’s plan of handing over a few assets to WealthCare would be enough to resolve all antitrust issues. Following that, Centene Group stepped up and acquired WealthCare for a reported USD 15.27 billion. Protestors of the deal included AIDS Health Foundation, American Medical Association, and the U.S. Pirg. U.S. Pirg lashed out at CVS stating that the company will yet again cause a hike in the prices of medications and will ultimately effect the consumer’s pockets for the merger. CVS had allowed Aetna to manufacture most of its primary products, while the approval from the federal judge was yet to be announced. CVS has been aiming to become a full fledged healthcare company as it promises to make blood pressure screening and nutrition counseling available in 1500 of its stores across the country.
CVS have been headlined recently for their appreciable work in curbing down the use of tobacco. The company recently launched a new program that aims at controlling youth vaping and are planning to invest USD 2 million for the same. Part of the investment will also be spent on making education material and the right tools needed to control vaping available to the clinicians.