We will soon have a pharmacy/insurer combination. We may yet get a pharmacy/drug-wholesaler merger. And now we're getting a new union of pharmacies and grocery stores with Albertsons' purchase of Rite Aid.
This deal has strategic and financial benefits for Albertsons and helps the grocer avoid a choppy IPO market. But it also gets it deeper into the increasingly tough and competitive pharmacy business.
The combined company will still be dwarfed pharmacy-wise by rivals CVS and Walgreens Boots Alliance. In fact, it will have fewer pharmacy counters than Rite Aid did before it agreed to sell 1,932 stores to Walgreens last year.