CVS to buy Aetna for $69 billion

By: Jason Stoogenke

Updated:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The CVS-Aetna merger will change the health industry, officials said.

CVS has 10,000 stores across the country that sells medications; many also have Minute Clinics. Adding insurance will make it a one-stop shop.

Cailtyn Tucker said she'd like to see the process simplified. 

"Make it a little bit faster and a little bit easier," she said. 

"Could be a good thing. Could be a bad thing. If it's a bad thing, I don't know what will happen then," CVS and Aetna customer Vince Cornett said. 

Some wonder if they'll end up with fewer choices. 

CVS and Aetna said the merger will cut out middlemen and prices. 

For example, they'll be able to stay on top of patients' illnesses and avoid pricey hospital stays. 

UNC-Charlotte health professor Michael Thompson thinks the merger will be mostly good. 

"The short-term, (people will probably see) not a lot. Take (CVS and Aetna) a while to begin integrating.  In a couple of years, you should be able to see a lot of savings, particularly if they're able to use the CVS clinics, and so forth, to improve primary care delivery," he said.  "The better-integrated system is something we've been trying for in a variety of different ways. This is one way of getting to that place."

He said it could even change health care for people who don't use CVS and Aetna. Their companies could merge just to keep up. Retail giant, Amazon, is getting into the pharmacy business, as well. 

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