Pharmacy giant CVS is near a deal to merge with Aetna

Pharmacy big CVS Well being and Aetna, the nation’s third largest well being insurer, are making progress towards a merger and will strike a deal by Monday, in line with an individual acquainted with the discussions.

The attainable deal, which continues to be not sure to occur, might be one of many largest well being care mergers of all time and would mark a serious shift within the aggressive panorama for well being care.

Siloed, standalone well being care corporations that carry out features comparable to processing well being claims, filling prescriptions or negotiating drug prices, are shifting to turn out to be built-in corporations aimed toward managing many elements of affected person care.

The deal -and the shift in CVS enterprise -might have been expedited by the tremors of anticipation rumbling via the well being care business that Amazon might quickly begin promoting prescribed drugs.

Combining with Aetna might make CVS much less weak to potential Amazon competitors, because it expands past filling prescriptions and negotiating drug costs and towards broader administration of affected person well being.

For years, CVS has been evolving away from its acquainted id as an ubiquitous nook drug retailer. It has prolonged into the large enterprise of negotiating drug costs for employers and insurers, constructed out retail MinuteClinics and despatched nurses to individuals’s houses to assist administer infusion medicine. Becoming a member of with Aetna continues this enlargement into delivering care and will push Aetna’s 22 million members into their community of pharmacies and clinics.

For Aetna, the merger would convey the enterprise of drug worth negotiation in-home, simply as rivals have finished. Well being insurers are looking for extra knowledge and contact factors with shoppers, which CVS might present by means of its retail places, pharmacists, infusion providers and clinics.

Analysts from the funding agency Jefferies wrote in August that Aetna’s chief government, Mark Bertolini, had described working with CVS and probably different retailers to rework storefronts struggling eroding gross sales right into a well being pavilion providing blood attracts, medical imaging, drug infusions and dialysis.

This development towards “vertical integration” -bringing unbiased companies that carry out totally different providers underneath one umbrella -is enjoying out throughout well being care, pushed by monetary incentives which are steadily shifting to reward affected person outcomes.

For instance, as a serious pharmacy profit supervisor, CVS right now negotiates reductions with drug corporations — one piece of well being spending. With Aetna,…

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