By Jeff Brown, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – What does this week’s $17 billion pharmacy merger between Walgreens and Rite Aid mean to you? Probably not much, for now.

Brian Owens, an analyst with Kantar Retail in Boston, weighs in.

“In the short term, you won’t see a dramatic impact on consumers. I think long term, what Walgreens is trying to do is accumulate more purchasing power with the acquisition of Rite Aid,” he says.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Jeff Brown reports

Owens thinks Walgreens will put this power to work.

He thinks, “With more collective purchasing power, there will be negotiations between wholesalers, big pharma-companies, obviously insurance companies with an effort to lower the cost of prescription drugs.”

With the deal, Walgreens picks up pharmacy benefit manager EnvisionRx, and Owens says they’re probably not done.

“I actually see Walgreens eyeing another acquisition, potentially in the pharmacy benefit manager,” he says.

This merger will undoubtedly put the pressure on Rhode Island’s CVS health, but Walmart may be the one to keep an eye on.

According to Owen, Walmart wants to be, “the number one healthcare provider in the U.S.”

Walmart is in a fierce battle with Amazon, but now will refocus on going from the third largest pharmacy to number 1.

Before the deal goes through, the feds will get involved and Walmart could be in position to grab the Walmart/Rite Aid overlap.

Stay tuned.

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