The health insurance giant Cigna said on Thursday that it had agreed to buy the pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts for $67 billion in cash and stock, including the assumption of $15 billion in debt.
The transaction adds to a string of deals in the health care sector as insurers and others seek to control costs and stave off a possible challenge from Amazon. The online retail giant announced in January that it was teaming up with Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase to form an independent health care venture to serve the three companies’ employees and to possibly revamp the industry.
The news comes a little over a year after a judge blocked a proposed $48 billion merger of Cigna and Anthem, another major health insurer. Separately, a judge also blocked a $37 billion deal between the health insurers Aetna and Humana last year.