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Justice Department OKs CVS-Aetna merger with divestiture

Justice Department OKs CVS-Aetna merger with divestiture

By Shelby Livingston  |  October 10, 2018

The U.S. Justice Department greenlighted the merger between CVS Health and Aetna with a condition: that Aetna divest its Medicare Part D business to WellCare Health plans. That alleviates the federal government's competition concerns.

House passes insurer, PBM anti-gag clause bills

House passes insurer, PBM anti-gag clause bills

By Susannah Luthi  |  September 25, 2018

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have both passed measures to halt the use of "gag clauses" by insurers and pharmacy benefit managers. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bills soon.

Senate clears opioids, 'gag clause' legislation

Senate clears opioids, 'gag clause' legislation

By Susannah Luthi  |  September 17, 2018

The Senate passed its opioids legislation, laying the groundwork for a final bicameral deal. The upper chamber also cleared a stand-alone healthcare bill to target insurer gag clauses on pharmacists.

Rebates don't correlate to drug price spikes, AHIP study says

Rebates don't correlate to drug price spikes, AHIP study says

By Susannah Luthi  |  August 16, 2018

As scrutiny tightens on drug middlemen and the significance of their role in spiking drug costs within Medicare Part D, health insurers are hitting back with data that show the most expensive drugs offer the lowest rebates.

Ohio Medicaid to try out transparent PBM pricing model

Ohio Medicaid to try out transparent PBM pricing model

By Shelby Livingston  |  August 15, 2018

Ohio's Medicaid department is directing its managed-care organizations to quit their contracts with pharmacy benefit managers because of opaque pricing practices and strike up new arrangements with transparent vendors.

Icahn abandons Cigna-Express Scripts merger challenge

Icahn abandons Cigna-Express Scripts merger challenge

By Shelby Livingston  |  August 14, 2018

Activist investor Carl Icahn will no longer urge stockholders to vote down the proposed merger between Cigna Corp. and Express Scripts after two independent advisory firms recommended voters approve the deal.

Drug rebates' legal protections are on the chopping block

Drug rebates' legal protections are on the chopping block

By Virgil Dickson  |  July 19, 2018

HHS is taking steps to remove legal protections for drug rebates that favor pharmacy benefit managers. It's unclear whether the changes will actually lead to lower drug prices, experts say.

Trump condemns middlemen in drug-pricing speech

Trump condemns middlemen in drug-pricing speech

By Alex Kacik and Virgil Dickson  |  May 11, 2018

The administration's proposal, coined American Patients First, recommended bolstering competition, allowing private plans to negotiate discounts for Medicare beneficiaries, creating incentives to lower list prices and reducing consumers' out-of-pocket spending.

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