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INDUSTRY: Consolidation in the health care sector

Today looks like a big day for more consolidation. Big drug chain CVS is getting bigger by buying part of the Eckerd chain owned by JC Penny. The other part is being bought by Canadian chain Jean Coutu Group.

In the health plan sector Oxford Health Plans is up 10% up on strong rumors that it will be bought by Wellchoice, the for-profit company that used to be Empire Health Plans, the New York City Blues plan. This is an interesting one, as it may be the first time that a Blues plan has gone outside the Blues system for an aquistion. Almost every other Blues plan has grown by aquiring other Blues, with the Anthem/Wellpoint merger being the latest example.

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