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Need Health Care with Those Band-Aids? CVS Buys Aetna in $69B Deal That Could Reshape Health World

12-04-2017
CVS-ExpressCurbsideAP

Soon you'll likely be able to get much more than band-aids and cough syrup at your local CVS store.

The drugstore chain is buying Aetna, the third-largest health insurer in the US, in an effort to grow more into customer care.

"They'll be pretty much a soup-to-nuts health company... except for the hospital part of it," said Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners, a retail consulting and research firm.
      
The $69 billion deal catapults America's second-largest drugstore chain in a direction it's been moving for years.

"I think over time you're going to see less of that front-store retail and more health care services in their stores," said Jeff Jonas, a portfolio manager for Gabelli Funds who follows drugstores.

CVS already runs 1,100 clinics nationwide and has steadily expanded the health care it offers. 

Additionally, three years ago the chain stopped selling tobacco products to boost its healthcare image.

Analysts say the new CVS-Aetna company could add more clinics and expand in-store services to include eye care and maybe hearing aids centers. 

This could eventually turn CVS into a one-stop-shop for health care. 

"If you think about it, we actually don't have anything like that," said Brian Tanquilut, an analyst with the Jefferies Group.

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