CVS.com will be the exclusive Internet provider for Merck-Medco's members. As part of the deal, Merck-Medco will acquire up to a 10 percent equity interest in ProCare, CVS's specialty pharmacy company, according to a company statement.
"This agreement is a major step forward for our e-commerce efforts and provides exclusive OTC access to all of Merck-Medco's more than 51 million members nationwide," said Tom Ryan, chairman and CEO of CVS.
Merck-Medco members ordering prescription drugs will have the choice of picking their order up at a CVS store or receiving it from a Merck-Medco mail service pharmacy.
ProCare focuses on supporting individuals requiring complex and expensive drug therapies. CVS and Merck-Medco will jointly market ProCare's specialty pharmacy products and services to Merck-Medco's clients.
CVS is the largest U.S. drugstore chain, with approximately 4,100 stores in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Midwest regions, and ranks only behind Walgreens in sales.
Merck-Medco is a subsidiary of Merck & Co. Inc. based in Whitehouse Station, N.J.
Shares of CVS rose 8 percent after the announcement.