NewsRegion C Palm Beach CountyWest Palm Beach

Actions

CVS, Aetna merger could impact local pharmacies

Posted at 8:02 PM, Dec 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-04 23:13:26-05

A monster deal between CVS pharmacy and one of the nation's largest health insurance companies, Aetna, could impact local pharmacies.

The $69 billion deal will affect more than 40 million Americans who are signed up under the health insurance giant.

The merger has left many wondering, who needs to go to the doctor when you can go to CVS instead? CVS has more than 9,700 pharmacies and 1,100 Minute Clinics, walk-in locations across the country.

The deal still has to pass regulatory scrutiny but CVS expects the deal to save a potential $750 million in the second full-year after it passes.

"The combined company will also be able to better understand patients' health goals, guide them through the health care system, and help them achieve their best health. There will be expanded opportunities to bring health care services to consumers every day," the companies said in a release.

Experts say companies like CVS are charged with negotiating drug prices between makers and consumers and the acquisition of Aetna would give the pharmacy chain a better leverage in pricing discussions.

But locally owned pharmacies like Jupiter Drugs and Medical Supplies are concerned the merger could take more customers away from the marketplace.

"The main area of concern with the merger with Aetna and CVS, between two such big entities,  would really create a monopoly. Which leaves the consumer with less of a choice... and I think the SEC should give that a really close look before they allow a merger like that to take place," said Sanette Jansen, co-owner and Pharmacist at Jupiter Drugs.

CVS also recently took over the pharmacy operations at Target.

Click here to learn more about how the merger could impact you.