CVS Health to Acquire Aetna

CVS Health to Acquire Aetna

The $69 billion deal, the largest corporate acquisition this year, would combine one of the nation's largest pharmacies with one of its oldest health insurers.

CVS Health announced Sunday that it had agreed to buy Aetna for about $69 billion. The deal, the largest corporate acquisition this year, would combine one of the nation's largest pharmacies with one of its oldest health insurers.

CVS is the No. 2 provider of prescription drug benefits in the United States and Aetna is the nation's No. 3 health insurer, with business ranging from employer health care to government plans. According to a news release by CVS, "This transaction fills an unmet need in the current health care system and presents a unique opportunity to redefine access to high-quality care in lower cost, local settings whether in the community, at home, or through digital tools."

CVS plans to provide medical services to Aetna's roughly 23 million medical members via its 10,000 pharmacy and clinic locations. The companies hope to create a health care platform that is based in community and less expensive for consumers. "We think of it as creating a new front door to health care in America," said Larry J. Merlo, CVS Health president and CEO. "We know we can make health care more affordable and less expensive."

CVS and Aetna also argue their deal will lower the cost of health care for their large corporate customers by combining the insurer and the pharmacy benefits manager. The combination would likely benefit them in terms of negotiating drug prices.

CVS expects to invest billions of dollars in the coming years in additional clinics and services. According to CVS, in addition to the services its locations already provide, it will be adding spaces for "wellness, clinical and pharmacy services, vision, hearing, nutrition, beauty, and medical equipment."

About the Author

Jessica Davis is an Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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