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Aetna, Humana may form huge PBM

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After its proposed acquisition of Humana, Aetna is considering bringing its prescription drug management business in-house, which would mean an end to its contract with CVS Health in 2019.

After its proposed acquisition of Humana, Aetna is considering bringing its prescription drug management business in-house, which would mean an end to its contract with CVS Health in 2019.

Related: HIV/AIDs drugs reclassified at Aetna, Coventry in Florida

During a conference call on July 6, Aetna chief executive Mark Bertolini, Humana CEO Bruce Broussard and other Humana executives discussed creating a stand-alone pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), according to Forbes.

Aetna and Humana announced on July 3 that Aetna will acquire all outstanding shares of Humana for a combination of cash and stock valued at $37 billion or approximately $230 per Humana share.

Related:CVS's Omnicare acquisition signals specialty drug expansion

“The complementary combination brings together Humana’s growing Medicare Advantage business with Aetna’s diversified portfolio and commercial capabilities to create a company serving the most seniors in the Medicare Advantage program and the second-largest managed care company in the U.S.,” the 2 companies said in a joint statement.

If approved, an Aetna PBM would process more than 600 million prescriptions and be the fourth largest PBM, “on a standalone basis”, the 2 companies said on the call. However, the new company would be somewhat smaller than Express Scripts, which processes more than 1.3 billion prescriptions.

Read next: 5 drug categories having the biggest impact on pharma spending

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