(CBS) -- For years, CVS has been working to become a one-stop shop for healthcare with not just pharmacies, but also walk-in clinics.
(Image Source: MGN)
By joining forces with insurance giant Aetna, CVS says they envision their locations becoming something of a community based medical center that includes "...space for wellness, clinical and pharmacy services" as well as "vision, hearing, nutrition, beauty, and medical equipment...."
"A company like CVS has 10,000 brick and mortar locations. So, if you're an Aetna customer, you can access the health care system through a CVS, which a lot us of see around the corner from where we live day to day."
Thee proposed mega merger comes as the companies face new competitors, including Amazon, which after expanding beyond basic retail products into groceries, started inching into the health care business.
"That made companies like CVS sit up and taken notice," says Zack Cooper of the Yale School of Public Health.
Still, the merger needs to be approved by anti-trust regulators who recently put the brakes on AT&T's $85 billion dollar purchase of Time Warner, as well as another healthcare merger between Anthem and Cigna corp.
"I think one of the questions is that when these two firms come together they might do a better job lowering drug prices, but do they end up passing those drug prices onto consumers and that's frankly a question that regulators are going to look at when they scrutinize this transaction," Cooper says.
In a joint statement, the two companies called this a natural evolution as they seek to put the consumer at the center of health care delivery. Experts say the move could re-invent the way you go to the doctor.