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Is the CVS-Aetna Merger a Pharma Industry Transformative Event?

US antitrust officials recently approved the proposed $69 billion CVS-Aetna merger. This merger follows a similar action taken by the Justice Department to approve the Cigna-Express Scripts merger, and partnering activities by Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and J.P. Morgan to get into the healthcare industry. These events taken together suggest what some have characterized as “the era of retail medicine is fast approaching.” What these changes also mean is an upcoming battle looming between big pharma, large retail, big health insurance companies, and large pharmacies with their influential PBM programs. What should companies do in response to this merger and similar changes happening in the industry?

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