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US pharmacy firm CVS to buy health insurer Aetna for $69bn

From BBC - December 3, 2017

US pharmacy chain CVS has agreed to buy health insurer Aetna in what could be the largest acquisition this year.

The deal worth around $69bn (51.1bn) requires approval by regulators and shareholders.

The proposed tie-up comes amid speculation that online shopping giant Amazon plans to move into the pharmaceutical market.

If it goes ahead, CVS said the acquisition has the potential to reshape America's health care industry.

"This combination brings together the expertise of two great companies to remake the consumer health care experience," said CVS chief executive Larry Merlo.

Rising costs

The pharmacy chain operator's planned acquisition of Aetna, America's third largest health insurer, comes amid rising medical costs for many Americans and their employers, including for prescription medicines.

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