CVS Health is reportedly in talks to purchase Aetna, a deal that would be the largest ever in the health insurance industry if it goes through.
Several media reports surfaced late in the afternoon on Oct. 26 that pharmacy retail giant CVS Health offered Hartford, Conn.-based health insurer Aetna a deal of more than $200 per share, which would make the deal worth about $66 billion. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the exact figures.
A CNBC report noted that the deal would be the largest ever in the health insurance industry, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Industry observers are already beginning to speculate on the impact of this merger. According to Larry Briski, director in West Monroe Partners' Healthcare & Life Sciences practice, a core obstacle in care management is access to full pharmacy information and having the ability to influence taking drugs on time.
Briski said in an emailed statement, “A CVS-Aetna merger will have the ability to impact drug compliance while being integrated into the care team in an unprecedented way. While people are picking up prescriptions, we can tell them at the point of retail that they need to get a check-up or have a specific test completed. Having a reliable place to interact with the member face-to-face is a missing component to the successful engagement of members today, from a health payer’s perspective. Additionally, a combined CVS-Aetna data will allow them to drive member toward the most effective, cheapest drugs available and gain cost efficiencies.”
Earlier this year, a federal judge blocked a merger that at would have resulted in Aetna acquiring Louisville, Ky.-based insurer Humana, which at the time was the largest acquisition of its type in the history of health insurance in the U.S., reported at $37 billion. “The transaction would violate antitrust laws by reducing competition among insurers,” U.S. District Judge John D. Bates in Washington said at the time.