Express Scripts

Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis-based Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefits management company in the U.S., said Wednesday that George Paz will retire as its CEO in May.

Tim Wentworth, who was named president of Express Scripts in February 2014, will replace Paz as CEO. Paz will remain chairman of the company.

Paz, 60, has been CEO for 11 years and oversaw its $29.1 billion acquisition of former competitor Medco in April 2012. Wentworth, 55, was the CEO of Medco's specialty pharmacy business before the merger.

Express Scripts Chief Medical Officer, Steve Miller, at company headquarters in St. Louis.
Durrie Bouscaren | St. Louis Public Radio

When two new drugs for hepatitis C hit the market, they were a game-changer.  

About 95 percent of hepatitis C patients can be cured with either Harvoni or Vikiera Pak, two drug regimens developed by two competing pharmaceutical companies. No longer did patients have to endure the severe side effects of older treatments, which were often taken as weekly injections.

A processing floor at Express Scripts in north St. Louis County.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Just months after unveiling a multi-million dollar expansion of its headquarters in north St. Louis county, Express Scripts has announced it will lay off 400 people at multiple facilities around the country. That includes 90 people in St. Louis.

The layoffs are in addition to 1,890 jobs that were cut system-wide in May.

“These are difficult but necessary decisions we have to make in order to position our company for success, future growth and continued service excellence to clients and members,” spokesperson Brian Henry said in an email.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio


Express Scripts celebrated the latest expansion to its north St. Louis County campus on Monday, another sign of growth for one of the nation’s biggest corporations.

The $56 million expansion includes an addition to its research lab and a new administrative office building. The project – which received millions of dollars worth of state and local tax breaks -- is expected to bring 1,500 jobs to the region within the next few years.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri approved $6.8 million in tax incentives Tuesday for St. Louis-based Express Scripts to expand.

The pharmaceutical benefits company is set to add 1,500 jobs, and plans to spend the next year constructing a 220,000 square foot building in North St. Louis County.

“Incentives are an option that are on the table for businesses," Express Scripts spokesperson Brian Henry said. "And we evaluate those as we consider our expansion. So for us, incentives are a way for us to drive the business and continue to drive what we do for business and clients.”

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Citing data released by Express Scripts Holding Co., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that for the first time in more than 20 years, there was a decrease last year in U.S. spending on traditional prescription drugs.

Flickr/Stephen Cummings

Pharmacy chain Walgreens says it will begin filling prescriptions from customers in the Express Scripts network starting in September under a new multiyear contract between the companies.

Walgreen had stopped filling prescriptions for Express Scripts after a contract between the companies ended last year.

Shares of Walgreen Co. jumped 14 percent in premarket trading while Express Scripts shares rose 3 percent.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The new Fortune 500 list has been released. Fortune Magazine has released its annual ranking of the top U.S. companies by revenue Monday.

Last year, St. Louis had ten companies on the list. It’s down to nine this year, as Smurfit Stone Container dropped off because it was purchased by Rock-Tenn in 2011. The companies are:

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 4:26 p.m. to correct name of Jennifer Mallon's association. It is the National Community Pharmacists Association, not the National Association of Community Pharmacies.

Federal regulators have approved the $29.1 billion merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco.


Lambert Concourse reopens today

City officials are celebrating the reopening of the C Concourse at Lambert St. Louis International Airport today.

The concourse has been closed since April 22 of last year when a tornado hit causing significant damage.

The concourse is new and improved according to director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge with brighter ceilings, new lighting and new restrooms among the improvements. Hamm-Niebruegge recalls the evening the tornado hit.

Flickr/Stephen Cummings

If the two companies cannot agree on reimbursement rates for drugs by the end of the year, those who carry Express Scripts will not be able to get their prescriptions filled at Walgreens.

With more than 7,700 drug stores nation-wide Walgreens spokesman Michael Polzin says it could be a hardship for some customers.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis-based pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts Inc. said Wednesday that it is suing Walgreen Co., arguing the drugstore chain is trying to lure away its customers.

The lawsuit alleges that Walgreen is telling Express Scripts plan members, and especially Medicare Part D beneficiaries, that they will not be able to fill their prescriptions at Walgreen pharmacies unless they leave Express Scripts and switch to a new pharmacy benefits management plan. Express Scripts said this violates the contract between the two companies.

You probably haven't heard of either Express Scripts or Medco Health Services, but their plans to merge in a $29 billion deal, announced last month, may have an impact on your pocketbook.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Two of the nation's largest pharmacy benefits management companies could become one in the first six months of next year.

A processing floor at Express Scripts in north St. Louis County.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

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.

Pharmaceutical giant Express Scripts announced today that it will invest $73 million to expand its St. Louis headquarters. The construction of the company's fourth building in the area is expected to create 150 new jobs.

(Flickr/Creative Commons user SuperFantastic)
  • St. Louis county will begin it's anti-smoking campaign next week, just as the the countywide smoking ban is about to take effect Jan. 2. The Post-Dispatch says in March the county was awarded a $7.6 million federal stimulus grant to fight smoking. The county's first effort will be a 15 month, $2 million media campaign urging people to stop smoking and to explain the ins and outs of the forthcoming ban. Dr. Delores Gunn, director of the St. Louis County health department says that until now, Missouri has been 48th in the nation on spending for smoking prevention and cessation programs.

"We spend $400 million a year in Medicaid in Missouri to treat illnesses related to smoking and secondhand smoke." -Dr. Delores Gunn in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

  • Express Scripts is planning to announce today that it will build a third office building at its headquarters complex in north St. Louis county. The company says the project will increase its economic impact in the region, which was more than $986 million in 2010. Express Scripts says it will also release an independent academic study on its economic impact in Missouri.
  • The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that nearly $190 dollars in safeguards have been installed at the Lincoln County jail. This after two federal prisoners escaped last month. Among the new safeguards is a new camera system. The Sheriff's department hopes the changes will allow them to resume housing federal prisoners. John Wesley Jones, a suspect in the multimillion-dollar ATM Solutions robbery in St. Louis, and Corey Durand Cross escaped through a drop ceiling. They were recaptured within days of the jail break.

Express Scripts' expansion in north St. Louis County may have made the pharmaceutical supplier the darling of state and regional officials. But it's also put the growing firm at odds with some major unions, many of whom contract with the firm for their workers' medicines.

And those tensions could spread here.