What's looming behind the proposed CVS Health-Aetna deal

Analysts predict CVS Health is in talks to buy Aetna to stay ahead of another behemoth — Amazon, according to CNBC.

The proposed $66 billion CVS Health-Aetna deal would allow the companies to steer health customers toward specific options through lower pharmacy copays, Joseph Agnese, senior analyst at CFRA, said.

"That will incentivize 23 million people to come to CVS" rather than other pharmacy benefit managers, Mr. Agnese said.

News of a potential CVS Health-Aetna deal follows reports Amazon is seeking entry into the pharmaceutical industry. RBC Capital Markets analyst George Hill told CNBC CVS Health and Aetna "needed to defend the business from encroachment by Amazon. Amazon's ability to impact the business over the near to mid term is low, but the ability to impact the stock is high."

Mr. Agnese added, "I find it very difficult to imagine how Amazon will enter the space without making big acquisitions," the report states. 

More articles on payer issues:
Anthem to pick up another Florida Medicare Advantage plan
U of Virginia Health System, Aetna launch co-branded Medicare Advantage plan
Anthem grows net income 21% in Q3

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