US pharmacy chain CVS has agreed to purchase well being insurer Aetna in what might be the most important acquisition this yr.
The deal value round $69bn (£fifty one.1bn) requires approval by regulators and shareholders.
The proposed tie-up comes amid hypothesis that on-line buying big Amazon plans to maneuver into the pharmaceutical market.
If it goes forward, CVS stated the acquisition has the potential to reshape America’s well being care business.
“This mix brings collectively the experience of two nice corporations to remake the buyer well being care expertise,” stated CVS chief government Larry Merlo.
The pharmacy chain operator’s deliberate acquisition of Aetna, America’s third largest well being insurer, comes amid rising medical prices for a lot of People and their employers, together with for prescription medicines.
Proposed tax cuts might additionally see a discount in authorities-funded well being programmes akin to Medicaid.
CVS stated the merger would put the agency in a greater place to assist clients as healthcare prices are rising at an “unsustainable price”.
“This transaction fills an unmet want within the present well being care system and presents a singular alternative to redefine entry to excessive-high quality care in decrease value, native settings”, CVS stated in a press release.
Beneath the merger plan, CVS might flip elements of its 10,000 shops into group well being centres staffed with pharmacists, nurses and nutritionists.
Analysts say the deal comes at a time when pharmacies and well being care suppliers are in search of methods to make it cheaper and simpler for his or her shoppers to entry their providers.
However there isn’t any assure the acquisition will go forward. Mergers involving medical insurance corporations have just lately collapsed after being blocked by federal judges over antitrust considerations, together with Aetna’s plan to purchase Humana for $34bn in 2015.
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