AMA says CVS-Aetna deal conditions aren’t good enough

In the wake of the Department of Justice clearing the path for CVS Health to merge with Aetna in a $69 billion deal, the American Medical Association still doesn’t think the conditions mandated by the Justice Department go far enough to quell anticompetition fears.

Aetna is required to sell off its Medicare Part D prescription drug plan for the merger with CVS Health to go through, the DOJ mandated Wednesday.

Multiple associations, legislators and regulators have voiced their concerns over the deal, which is one of the biggest in the healthcare space and brings together the nation’s largest pharmacy retailer and the third largest health insurance provider.

Aetna announced it agreed to sell its Medicare Part D business to Wellcare Health Plans last month. The Justice Department gave its preliminary approval for the deal to move forward on Wednesday with the caveat that Aetna complete its divestiture.

“While the AMA welcomes the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) requiring Aetna to divest its Medicare Part D drug plan business, we are disappointed that the DOJ did not go further by blocking the CVS-Aetna merger,” AMA said in a statement.

AMA voiced its opposition to the CVS-Aetna deal in August, urging regulators to block the merger over anti-competition concerns.

“We now urge the DOJ and state antitrust enforcers to monitor the post-merger effects of the Aetna acquisition by CVS Health on highly concentrated markets in pharmaceutical benefit management services, health insurance, retail pharmacy and specialty pharmacy,” AMA said Wednesday.

AMA is the nation’s largest association of physicians and medical students and was founded in 1847.