Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Ave. Westbury, NY 11590-9007
Communications Division
Telephone: (516) 488-6100

For Immediate Release
September 26, 2018                       

Statement in Response to DFS Letter Regarding CVS-Aetna

Statement attributable to:
Thomas Madejski, M.D.
President, MSSNY 

“We thank New York Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo for issuing a letter expressing its ‘significant concerns’ with the proposal of pharmacy and PBM behemoth CVS to acquire health insurer behemoth Aetna.  We agree with concerns she has raised that  ‘the proposed transaction, if approved, would create an incredibly large market share in the health care market for the combined company, in an already concentrated marketplace, and is likely to increase prices for members, and reduce options for consumers, without any discernable increase in quality.’ 

We also agree with their assessment that CVS ‘minute-clinics might provide unfair competition to other medical providers and hospitals, which when combined with CVS’ proposed ownership of a major health insurer creates significant concerns for consumer choice and cost.’ 

MSSNY has issued several public statements raising numerous concerns about the adverse impact to patient access to needed care, including at a NYS Assembly Insurance Committee hearing earlier this year examining this proposed amalgamation of these companies, These concerns include: reduced community pharmacy access; reduced health insurer competition; increased prior authorization hassles; and marginalization of physician-owned medical homes.   

The NY DFS joins several others who have issued detailed statements expressing concerns with this proposed transaction. 

In August, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones submitted an extensive letter to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) to block the merger because of the potentially “significant anti-competitive impacts on consumers and health care and health insurance markets.”  Commissioner Jones found that the proposed merger poses competitive concerns in the Medicare Part D market, where both companies currently compete, as well as in the highly-concentrated market for PBM services, and in the retail pharmacy market. 

The same month, the American Medical Association (AMA) submitted to the US DOJ its own comprehensive analysis, raising similar concerns and urging the DOJ to work to block the merger.  And, earlier this year, the American Antitrust Institute (AAI) raised similar concerns in its letter to the US DOJ.  

Several diverse perspectives have reached the same conclusion – that this merger would have an adverse impact on patient access to care.   It should not be permitted to go forward.”

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Founded in 1807, the Medical Society of the State of New York is the state's principal non-profit professional organization for physicians, residents and medical students of all specialties. Its mission is to represent the interests of patients and physicians to assure quality healthcare services for all.

Media Contact:
Roseann Raia
Medical Society of the State of New York
865 Merrick Avenue
Westbury, NY 11590
516.488.6100 x 302