CVS Caremark Corp., the nation's largest provider of prescription drugs, agreed to buy a unit of Apria Healthcare Group Inc. in Lake Forest for about $2.1 billion to add specialty infusion services. It is CVS' biggest purchase in five years.
The deal to buy Apria's Coram unit will bring CVS into the business of providing therapies such as antibiotics, nutrition and pain medicine through needles or catheters into patients' veins.
Such drugs are a growing part of the pharmacy market, and CVS can help clients control health costs by offering them at Coram's more than 85 locations nationwide instead of at costlier hospitals.
"They are moving into home infusion, which is...