Health Insurer Anthem Nearing Deal to Purchase Cigna
July 23, 2015
Anthem Inc. is nearing a deal to buy Cigna Corp. for more than $48 billion in a transaction that, along with a previously proposed combination of rivals, would shrink the five largest U.S. health insurers to just three.
• Anthem Inc. is nearing a deal to buy Cigna Corp. for more than $48 billion in a transaction that, along with a previously proposed combination of rivals, would shrink the five largest U.S. health insurers to just three. Anthem, based in Indianapolis, is expected to pay about $188 a share for Cigna, of Bloomfield, Conn. The deal between the two companies could be announced as soon as this afternoon, capping off a months-long, sometimes contentious back-and-forth between the two companies. By buying Cigna, Anthem would marry two companies with a huge footprint in commercial insurance, the type of coverage provided to employers and consumers. It would also accelerate the rapid-fire reconfiguration at the top of the U.S. managed-care industry. The biggest companies are seeking more cost efficiency and scale as the Affordable Care Act changes the healthcare landscape. Antitrust regulators are expected to closely examine the implications of this deal and two other proposed insurance mergers announced earlier this month. [WSJ]
• More consumers are calling for pharmaceutical companies to disclose developmental costs and profits of their medicines, as concerns about exorbitant drug prices grow. Pharmaceutical cost transparency bills have been introduced in at least six legislatures in the last year, aiming to make drug companies justify their prices, which are often attributed to high research and developmental costs. In an article published today, more than 100 prominent oncologists called for support of a grassroots movement to stem the rapid increases of prices of cancer drugs, including letting Medicare negotiate prices with pharmaceutical companies and letting patients import less expensive medicine from Canada. The biotechnology industry trade groups say the transparency bills would be too costly to comply with and would provide misleading information. It is unclear whether the bills will advance, but academics and citizens alike are beginning to question the rationale behind ballooning pharmaceutical prices. [NYTimes]
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