For Aetna, 2017 was a tale of two (very different) mergers. The year began with the death of the health insurer’s proposed $37 billion corporate marriage with smaller rival Humana; it ended with a far more tantalizing M&A, a $69 billion deal to be acquired by retail pharmacy giant CVS. The latter, cross-sector purchase has the potential to upend the health industry in a number of ways, according to a spate of industry analysts and Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, including the potential to better control drug costs and provide primary care services outside of pricey hospital settings.
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CVS is already beginning to change its business structure in a post-Aetna deal world.
Investors fear weakness, debt in the retail sector.