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In Record-Breaking $69 Billion Deal, CVS to Buy Aetna, Turn Pharmacies Into Health Hubs

Woonsocket, RI — Health retailer CVS, America’s second-largest pharmacy chain, announced on Dec. 4 that it would be purchasing health insurance Aetna for the princely sum of $69 billion.


The merger would give the new company more clout with drugmakers and would aim to bring more health care to consumers in retail clinics.  The companies said that together they want to offer more health care services in CVS drugstores.


The company changed its name to CVS Health three years ago and is trying to reposition itself has a health care company rather than just a drugstore.


The vision is that customers, especially those covered by Aetna insurance policies, will seek more of their basic health care at an expanded CVS clinic.


CVS operates opver 1,100 MinuteClinics at locations in its drugstores and within Target stores.  According to CVS, its pharmacists and nurse practitioners can provide ongoing health care for people with chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma.


The companies are counting on the notion that people will prefer going to a clinic around the corner over making repeated trips to their doctors that might require appointments and waits.


However, numerous healthcare industry captains continue to express alarm at the proposed merger, which is expected to be reviewed and approved by the U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ).


If greenlighted, though, the new healthcare services offered by CVS will represent a watershed event in the history of the American healthcare and health insurance industries.