CVS expands into insurance with $69 billion Aetna bid


CVS Well being needs to do far more than fill your prescription or jab your arm with an annual flu shot.

The pharmacy chain is shopping for the nation’s third-largest well being insurer in an effort to push a lot deeper into buyer care. The evolution gained’t occur in a single day, however in time, buyers might discover extra clinics in CVS shops and extra well being care they will obtain by means of the community of almost 10,000 places that the corporate has constructed.

The $sixty nine billion deal introduced Sunday night will push the pharmacy chain extra forcefully in a course it has been heading for years, in line with analysts on Wall Road. It already has about 1,one hundred clinics in its retailer community, and it has methodically expanded what they do. The clinics began off as a spot to deal with primary well being care wants like sinus infections or strep throat.

Regularly, the corporate has added providers like blood attracts or monitoring of continual circumstances similar to hypertension and diabetes. Anticipate that development to proceed, as the pharmacy switches extra from promoting merchandise in its shops to providers that may’t be purchased on-line, the place retailers face formidable competitors from the likes of Amazon.

“I feel over time you’re going to see much less of that entrance-retailer retail and extra well being care providers of their shops,” stated Jeff Jonas, a portfolio supervisor for Gabelli Funds who follows drugstores.

The mammoth acquisition pairs an organization that runs greater than 9,seven hundred drugstores and 1,one hundred stroll-in clinics with an insurer masking round 22 million individuals. CVS Well being Corp. can also be one of many nation’s largest pharmacy profit managers, processing greater than a billion prescriptions a yr for insurance coverage corporations, together with Aetna.

Analysts say the mixed firm might add extra clinics and increase in-retailer providers to incorporate eye care or perhaps facilities for listening to aids. That would progressively flip CVS Well being a one-cease-store for well being care, a spot the place sufferers can get a listening to assist checked, then see a nurse practitioner and decide up prescriptions.

“If you consider it, we truly don’t have something like that,” Jefferies analyst Brian Tanquilut stated just lately.

Analysts say clinics aren’t particularly worthwhile, however they’re necessary as a result of they draw individuals into the shops and assist construct deeper buyer relationships. That’s essential as a result of drugstores are studying that clients have much less loyalty to them than was beforehand thought, Tanquilut stated. He…



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