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CVS buys insurance giant Aetna for $69 billion

(NBC News) CVS Health has announced a deal to buy insurance giant Aetna for $69 billion.

Courtesy NBC

The transaction will pair close to 10,000 drugstores and 1100 walk-in clinics with an insurance provider that covers more than 20 million people.

It’s a move some say could change the face of healthcare in the US.

“It’s going to transform what doctors do, what nurses do and I think where healthcare takes place to get into a lower cost, community-based setting,” said Bill George, Senior Fellow of Harvard Business School.

“It’s really the perfect time to bring the two companies together, to create a new healthcare platform that can be easier to use and less expensive for consumers and really create a new front door to healthcare in our country,” said President and CEO of CVS Health, Larry Merlo.

It is not clear how the deal might impact prescription drug costs, but it is expected to bring a broad new customer base for CVS creating a single stop where patients can have blood drawn, visit a nurse, and pick-up prescriptions.

“We have the opportunity here to begin to bend that cost curve and at the same time help people achieve their best health,” said Merlo.

Anti-trust regulators must still approve the purchase.