CVS has agreed to buy Aetna for about $69 billion in a deal that could easily affect the American healthcare industry, although the deal still needs to be approved.
What do we know about the deal?
Considered one of the largest transactions of the ending year, the possible deal will combine the United States’ largest health insurers with a drugstore giant, helping to blur the lines of the healthcare industry. The new deal could also help transform CVS’ near 10,000 pharmacy storefronts into community medical hubs, that can be used for primary care and basic procedures. CVS would pay about $207 per share under this new deal, with around $145 a share being in cash, with the rest in stock.
Dan Mendelson, president of Avalere Health, a consulting firm, explained how this could be beneficial:
Every health insurance company wants to get closer to the consumer. If a patient is better off by getting a home health visit to have someone go through their medications to take them off 10 and eliminate those medications, I want that to happen — as opposed to someone just filling prescriptions.
The deal might be a response to competition with Amazon
It is thought that CVS had interest in the deal due to competition with Amazon, who may be interested in selling drugs in the near future. According to The Washington Post, Martin Gaynor, a professor of economics and health policy at Carnegie Mellon University, speculated that the deal would not do much to quell competition, adding that CVS already serving as Aetna’s pharmacy benefit manager might make the deal redundant:
A big question mark for me is how does it make the merged company better. I wonder about a lot of these mergers, whether they’re really driven by a true increase in value of the long-term value of the company — as opposed to seeking a short-term bump in stock prices.
Further information about the deal is expected to be released this Sunday. As this story is breaking more information will be updated as made available.