Judge’s ruling in UHG/Change merger could prove damaging

BESSEMER, Ala., September 20, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A judge’s decision to clear the merger between UnitedHealth Group and Change Healthcare may prove harmful to patients, providers and taxpayers, American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc officials said today. .(APCI).

In a sealed notice issued Monday evening, the District of Columbia judge Carl Nichols blocked the Department of Justice’s attempt to intervene in the case. The DOJ sued in federal court the February 24 to stop the $13 billion acquisition, arguing that the deal would provide UnitedHealth with patient information it could use against competitors.

“We have seen time and time again that consolidations in the healthcare industry have been bad for patients and this particular acquisition raises many anti-competitive concerns,” said Tim Hamrick, CEO of APCI. “We are extremely disappointed with the decision that will allow this merger between UHG and Change to move forward. Nevertheless, APCI commends and thanks the Department of Justice and its lawyers for their fight against further consolidation of American health care.”

APCI has strongly opposed the acquisition since it was first announced, write in a September 29, 2021letter to the Department of Justice that the merger could “directly harm competition” and could give UHG “a competitive advantage at the expense of competing providers and payers as well as patients”.

“Horizontal and vertical integration have wreaked havoc on the prescription drug market and resulted in less competition, less patient choice and higher prices for patients,” said Greg Reybold, director of health policy and legal director of the APCI. “While this decision is a blow, APCI will continue to oppose future consolidation in the insurer/PBM space, as we are currently doing with the proposed acquisition of Magellan Rx by Prime Therapeutics.”

Reybold added that APCI will continue to engage with the Federal Trade Commission and Congress in efforts to curb anti-competitive practices by pharmacy benefit managers and fight further horizontal and vertical integration in the PBM space. /insurer/health care.

About the APCI

APCI is a member-owned cooperative of more than 1,600 member pharmacies in 30 states. Founded in 1984 and based in Bessemer, Ala.APCI is proud to lead the fight for prescription drug pricing transparency and reform.

SOURCE American Pharmacy Cooperative, Inc.

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