CVS Caremark’s (NYSE: CVS) board of directors approved a $6 billion repurchase plan, applicable to common stock, effective immediately, the company said in a press release today. The pharmacy chain, headquartered in Woonsocket, R.I., announced that the program is expected to go on for several years before the $6 billion reserve is dried up. CVS’ market cap is currently just more than $60 billion.

The plan allows CVS to buy back its stock over the open market and via private agreements, as well as other derivative transactions. The company has said it will outline in further detail its capital allocation plans for 2013 on “Analyst Day” Dec. 13.

CVS shares closed up 0.66% Wednesday, outperforming the S&P 500 by about half a percentage point.