CVS announced Dec. 3 it agreed to buy Aetna in a $69 billion deal. It remains unclear how the massive plan to combine the retail pharmacy giant with Aetna’s insurance business will play out, with the deal still having to withstand antitrust scrutiny from federal regulators.
The 2018 outlook from CVS predicts that adjusted operating profit in the company’s retail/long-term care (LTC) segment will grow by low-single digits, while its pharmacy services will grow by low-to-mid single digits.
The company pointed to its partnerships with Optum, Cigna and Express Scripts, and expanded participation as a preferred pharmacy in more Medicare Part D networks and expanded script growth in long-term care businesses as factors contributing to retail/LTC growth. However, the recent sale of RxCrossroads created some headwinds, CVS noted.
For its pharmacy benefit manager business, the company pointed to expected claims growth, the administration of rebates for Aetna’s Medicare Part D business, increased usage of generics in specialty pharmacies and lower than historic branded drug price inflation as factors driving growth. But one piece of downward pressure is the about $150 million CVS plans to use to implement Anthem business.