Drugs store Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has announced that it will buy smaller rival Rite Aid (RAD) for $17.2 billion. If the deal gets regulatory approval the merger will create a hefty rival to the largest U.S. drug store operator CVS (CVS). Rite Aid is currently the third largest pharmacy operator in the States, with a market share of around 10.3 percent. Walgreens now expects to save over $1 billion if the merger is completed via cost cuts and combined purchasing power. Local pharmacies are scrambling to keep up with the changing healthcare system while also fending off competition from online and mail order prescription companies. Wholesale retailers like Costco are also attempting to get in on discounted prescription drug sales. Rite Aid and Walgreens stock jumped on the earnings news.
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