4 ways CVS Health's acquisition of Aetna could affect the healthcare supply chain

If approved, the CVS Health-Aetna acquisition could have an impact on healthcare organizations' supply chain going forward, according to an article in Fortune.

The companies agreed to a $69 billion acquisition that would make Aetna a division of CVS Health. The combined company would become "a more diversified consolidated company that moves vertically through the healthcare supply chain and could provide consumers with a new kind of healthcare experience," according to executives from both companies.

Here are four key thoughts on how this acquisition — and others like it — could affect the healthcare supply chain:

1. Through the acquisition, CVS and its MinuteClinics would have access to Aetna plan holders. Aetna has a huge presence in the employer health coverage market and covers millions of plan holders and their families.

2. As a combined entity, CVS pharmacy could provide Aetna beneficiaries primary care treatment options and seamlessly fill prescriptions. The single company could fill prescriptions, provide pharmacy benefit management through its Caremark arm and treat chronic conditions under one roof.

3. The deal could spark other giant companies, including Amazon, to more deeply consider cross-sector mergers involving the pharmacy space. Amazon is rumored to have interest in pharmacy and the deal could push Wal-Mart to pursue a deal with Humana.

4. Aetna and CVS Health CEOs feel the deal could create efficiencies and cost savings for the healthcare industry as well as consumers, but critics say giving patients fewer options for healthcare services could be risky in the long term.

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