Hospitals Urge Antitrust Regulators To Scrutinize Anthem Acquisition Of Cigna
Also in the news, the CVS decision to stop covering Viagra for many of its drug plan members is the latest example of how some health-care managers are using muscle to control rising drug costs.
Hospitals Seek Justice Department Probe Of Anthem-Cigna Deal
Hospitals are urging antitrust regulators to consider whether health insurer Anthem Inc.’s planned acquisition of rival Cigna Corp. would boost health care costs. In a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice, the hospital industry’s largest lobbying group said combining the No. 1 and No. 5 health insurers threatens to reduce competition in 817 geographic markets serving 45 million consumers. (Humer, 8/6)
The Wall Street Journal:
Drug-Plan Managers Wield ‘Potent Weapon’
CVS Health Corp.’s decision to stop covering Pfizer Inc.’s anti-impotence pill Viagra for many of its drug-benefit plan members is the latest example of the tough tactics some health-care managers are using to control rising drug costs. CVS and rival Express Scripts Holding Co., which together dominate the U.S. market for administering drug-benefit plans for employers and insurers, are excluding more drugs from coverage if there are viable alternatives in attempts to squeeze greater price discounts from manufacturers. The pharmacy-benefit managers, or PBMs, are steering patients to other drugs they say have equivalent safety and efficacy, but at lower costs. (Loftus, 8/6)