APRIL 01, 2007

In a $26.5-billion merger, Caremark and CVS will bring a new dynamic to the pharmacy industry. The combination will create one company that will be the nation's number- 2 drugstore chain and its largest pharmacy benefit management (PBM) company.

"This is what we've been working to get to—to get the shareholders to vote on what we think is a game-changing event in the pharmaceutical industry," said Edwin Crawford, Caremark's chief executive officer, during a press conference following the merger vote.

Crawford said that he expects the formal integration process to take 6 months to a year.

CVS agreed. "We have said from the beginning that this combination will transform the way pharmacy services are delivered, enabling consumers to benefit from enhanced health care services and improved outcomes, and ...payers to benefit from more effective cost-management tools," commented Tom Ryan, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of CVS Corp.

The approval ended months of a bitter takeover feud that had the PBM Express Scripts Inc asking Caremark to reject the CVS offer in favor of its hostile bid.