March 20, 2019 at 9:59 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
AHF joins lawsuit to oppose CVS-Aetna merger
AIDS Healthcare Foundation, gay news, Washington Blade
(Photo by Ildar Sagdejev via Wikimedia Commons)

The Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation, the nation’s largest AIDS organization, which provides HIV-related medical services in D.C., has become a party to an antitrust lawsuit filed last fall by the U.S. Justice Department and five states to temporarily halt the merger of CVS Health Corporation and Aetna, Inc.

Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who is presiding over the case, approved on March 6 AHF’s petition to join the lawsuit to oppose the CVS-Aetna merger as an amicus or “friend of the court” participant.

The Justice Department and federal regulatory agencies subsequently agreed to allow the merger to go forward. But at the request of several states and other amicus partners that joined the lawsuit, Leon halted the merger in December to allow opponents to present their case on why the merger could violate U.S. antitrust laws.

“AHF strongly believes the merger would have serious negative consequences for HIV patients and others with chronic health conditions,” the organization said in a statement.

“AHF believes that state and federal regulators glossed over many red flags in granting approval for the merger last fall and thanked Judge Leon for putting the brakes on the deal to allow for the Court’s careful review of the anti-competitive aspects of the deal,” the statement says.

The states that signed on to the lawsuit include California, Florida, Hawaii, Mississippi, and Washington. Among the organizations joining the lawsuit as amicus partners are the American Medical Association, Pharmacists United for Truth and Transparency, Consumer Action, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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