MILWAUKEE, WI - A multi-billion dollar deal could reshape the country's healthcare industry, and threaten some independent pharmacies.
“When these acquisitions happened in the past, independent pharmacies suffered," said Hashim Zaibak.
Hashim Zaibak owns only eight pharmacies in the metro-Milwaukee area and two others in cities across the state, but the enormity of CVS's reach doesn’t seem to bother him.
“Independent pharmacies have been historically very good at adjusting and getting into niche services," Zaibak said.
For Zaibak those niche services include medication therapy management where independent pharmacists offer home visits and educate patients on how to take certain medications.
Zaibak said a service like that is what sets independent pharmacies apart.
“The fact that we’re accessible makes us very valuable," Zaibak said.
"And I love that," he also said.
Combining the operations of CVS with a major insurer like Aetna could make it easier for people to monitor illnesses without having to see a doctor, and it could also increase CVS’s market power, but Zaibak isn’t quite convinced it would result in lower prices for consumers.
“If history repeats itself this is going to be another merger when those organizations might make more money," Zaibak said.
"But without passing the money or the savings to the patients," he continued.
According to Zaibak, there are about 25,000 independent pharmacies across the country, and in his opinion, he doesn’t think independent pharmacies are going anywhere anytime soon.