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).