Aetna Inc. has added a large network of nursing home pharmacies to its Medicare pharmacy network.[@@]

Aetna, Hartford, says its pharmacy management unit has formed an alliance with MHA Long Term Care Network Inc., a unit of Managed Health Care Associates Inc., Florham Park, N.J., that represents more than 420 independent long term care pharmacies.

The pharmacies serve many Medicare beneficiaries who live in nursing homes and other senior living facilities, Aetna says.

Aetna is setting up its Medicare pharmacy network to prepare for the 2006 launch of the new Medicare drug benefit program.