Business: Prescription benefits dispute
11:08 am
Tue June 21, 2011

Walgreen Co. announces plans to drop Express Scripts

The nation's largest drugstore chain is locked in a contract fight with one of the St. Louis area's  largest employers.

Walgreen Co. revealed during an earnings call today that it's planning to end its $5.3-billion-per-year relationship with Express Scripts Inc. on Jan. 1, saying it cannot reach a deal on the fees the pharmacy benefits manager pays to fill the prescriptions of Walgreen's customers.

Walgreen officials say Express Scripts wants to cut those payments below what it costs Walgreen to provide them, calling that "unacceptable."

The drugstore company found itself in a similar battle last year with CVS Caremark Corp. that was eventually resolved.