John W. Jones, Jr., chair of Pepper Hamilton's Health Care Transactions and Regulatory practices and a member of the Leadership Team of the Health Sciences Department, is quoted in the December 4, 2017 Law360 article, "CVS, Aetna Seek Health Care Industry Shakeup With Megadeal."
“It’s a step moving away from the traditional health care delivery model,” said John W. Jones Jr., a partner at Pepper Hamilton LLP who is a member of the leadership team for the firm’s health sciences department. “There could be a real opportunity to drive down costs and improve patient care and access.”
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“The health care industry, on the service side, remains highly fragmented,” Jones told Law360. “I think all health care companies are looking to increase their bottom line. One way of doing that is through M&A, absolutely.”
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“From the CVS perspective, it could be defensive, with potential competition from companies like Amazon and others moving into their space,” Jones said. “But we don’t know.”
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“From a competition standpoint, a vertical merger like this typically wouldn’t get a lot of scrutiny,” Jones said. “But one thing you have to keep in mind is whether patient choice in this merger situation will be limited.”
“Whether that’s enough for regulators to be concerned about, we’ll see,” Jones added.
Jones does believe that there could be antitrust concerns if it is determined that the deal might actually harm the consumer. Having retail executives in charge of one of the country’s largest health care companies is one thing that regulators might pinpoint, for example.
“Retail executives having decision-making authority over the doctor could be an issue,” Jones said. “The question becomes, is the executive team going to put profits ahead of quality health care?”