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The next era of CVS is all about services

The pharmacy giant wants to be your doctor’s office.

With locations seemingly on every corner, CVS is often the most convenient stop for toilet paper, cough drops, or late night Sour Patch Kids.

But as the company evolves, its focus is shifting beyond the storefront, per The New York Times.

Earlier this week…

… CVS announced plans to acquire Signify Health for ~$8B.

Signify runs a network of 10k doctors offering in-home care to 2.5m patients. It’s the latest in a series of moves by CVS to expand its health care service offerings, including:

  • Acquiring Caremark Rx, a pharmacy benefits manager, for $21B, in 2007
  • Buying 1.6k+ pharmacies from Target for ~$2B in 2015
  • Merging with Aetna, the health insurance company, in a $69B deal in 2018

The moves helped CVS reach massive scale, staffing ~40k physicians, pharmacists, and nurses across its pharmacies and MinuteClinic locations.

Health care services…

… are becoming a popular space, luring some of the biggest players in tech:

  • Amazon acquired prescription delivery service PillPack in 2018, launched its own telehealth arm in 2019, and agreed to acquire One Medical for $4B in July.
  • Apple has pushed further into health care with the Apple Watch, the Health app, and its HealthKit API, and has hinted it wants to hire doctors to offer primary care.

But CVS has a head start. Across its ~10k locations, CVS already serves 4.5m patients per day. With Signify Health, CVS will be able to serve patients at home as well.

It’s not too far off to think that in the future, a visit to the doctor’s office could mean a visit to the nearest CVS.

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