CVS Health posts $1.4B profit, expects Aetna deal to close by Thanksgiving

Fueled by its improving pharmacy retail business, CVS Health posted a net income of $1.39 billion in the third quarter of 2018, up from $1.29 billion the same period one year prior, according to CNBC.

The pharmacy retail giant also saw its revenue rise 2.4 percent year over year to $47.3 billion. The business unit that houses CVS' retail pharmacy operations made up a majority of the sales, growing by nearly 7 percent from the third quarter of 2017 to $20.86 billion.

CVS' retail business also saw improvements in the third quarter, with front-of-store revenues rising 2 percent from last year.

Similar to other pharmacy retail giants — especially as they compete against Amazon — CVS is looking for ways to bring more shoppers into the store. One solution is CarePass, a membership program that includes free delivery on most online purchases and prescriptions. The program is being tested in the Boston market.

To further differentiate itself from competitors, CVS is closing in on its $69 billion acquisition of Aetna. CVS said Nov. 6 it plans to complete its purchase of the health insurer before Thanksgiving. In October, the companies entered into an agreement with the Department of Justice to move forward with the deal, as long as Aetna sells its stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plans to Tampa, Fla.-based WellCare Health Plans.

While CVS requires approval from five remaining states out of 28 to close the deal, the company said it is "well down the line" in terms of getting nods from those states. The company did meet some resistance in New York, where New York State Department of Financial Services Superintendent Maria Vullo called the Justice Department's approval of the deal "myopic" and suggested her agency may block CVS' merger with Aetna's New York business.

More articles on pharmacy:
Pfizer may sell its $2B women's health unit
CVS pilots membership program to take on Amazon
Regional hospitals want in on lucrative drug trials

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