WMFE is Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming on 90.7 FM and Classical Music on 90.7 HD2. Part of the community since 1965, WMFE focuses on providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
You Drive Public Radio - Make your donation now
CLOSEOpt Out: I already like WMFE!

Like us on Facebook!

Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Is the New CVS and Aetna Merger a Good or Bad Thing for Drug Prices? Kaiser Family Foundation Expert Says it Might be too Early to Tell


Play Audio
CVS says the deal will make healthcare more accessible especially in rural areas. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

CVS says the deal will make healthcare more accessible especially in rural areas. Photo: Flickr Creative Commons

A 69 billion dollar merger between CVS and Aetna has been approved by the Department of Justice. This will consolidate the number of prescription drug plans available to consumers in the short-term.

When the DOJ approved the merger between America’s largest pharmacy and third largest health insurance company it required Aetna to sell of its Medicare Part D drug plan. Some experts are concerned that fewer Medicare Part D providers will lead to a less competitive market. But Juliette Cubanski of Kaiser Family Foundation says once the dust settles, plans offered next year will actually give consumers more options:

“This administration has taken steps to make the Medicare Advantage and Part D more competitive. So on one hand there are mergers happening but then there are new plans entering to balance it out.”

Because the merger is between two companies that aren’t competitors it’s hard to tell what the effect will be on drug prices.

It’s also hard to tell because it’s strengthening ties between a health insurance provider and a prescription benefits company who already work together to set drug prices.

“They’re already so large that I’m not sure how much more merging will do to change the bottom line negotiations in rebates and discounts that they’re already pursuing.”

Retail giant Amazon is considering entering the drug market. Cubanski says the merger between Aetna and CVS could secure their position in the pharmaceutical industry.

CVS’s CEO Larry J. Merlo says the merger will make healthcare easier to access as the pharmacies offer more diagnostic and preventative care services.

If you’d like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.


Support 90.7 WMFE

Stories like these are made possible by contributions from readers and listeners like you.

DONATE NOW

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter

Danielle Prieur grew up listening to her grandfather’s stories of swimming across the Detroit River from Canada and many other adventures. She’s been into storytelling ever since. She studied writing at the University of Michigan. She trained in public radio at WDET’s Detroit newsroom, and is really excited ... Read Full Bio »

TOP