Express Scripts | St. Louis Public Radio

Express Scripts

Express Scripts headquarters
Express Scripts

Original story from 03/08/18; updated with audio from St. Louis on the Air segment on 03/09/18.

Updated at 5 p.m., with comments from an industry analyst — Health insurance giant Cigna has agreed to purchase the St. Louis-based pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts.

The deal, which has already been approved by the boards of both companies, is worth about $67 billion, according to press releases.

People wait to enter the Check Your Blind Spot mobile museum outside the Express Scripts headquarters in St. Louis County on Monday, March 5, 2017.
Express Scripts

Dozens of people visited a mobile museum dedicated to educating the public about unconscious bias at the Express Scripts headquarters in north St. Louis County on Monday.

More than 350 corporate executives and university presidents signed a pledge to address unconscious bias in the workplace. Local leaders at Edward Jones, Reinsurance Group of America, Inc. and St. Louis-based manufacturing company Emerson are among companies who also signed the pledge.

Darryl Munden talks about Rx Outreach,  a non-profit pharmacy providing low-cost prescriptions for people in need.
Lara Hamdan | St. Louis Public Radio

A local company is providing prescriptions for underserved, low income and chronically ill people.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked about Rx Outreach, a non-profit organization based in Maryland Heights, which is a fully licensed mail-order pharmacy. Joining the discussion was Darryl Munden, president of Rx Outreach.

The organization started as a program in 2004 within Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit management in the United States.

An illustration of pills.
Illustration by Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis-based pharmacy benefits management company Express Scripts is tackling the opioid crisis.
 
The company announced an initiative Wednesday to more than 600 clients gathered in Dallas for an annual Express Scripts conference. The program focuses on limiting exposure to the painkillers and gives patients access to specialty-pharmacists to make sure the drugs are used properly. 

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at LaunchCode alongside Jim McKelvey, founder of Square and co-founder of LaunchCode, on Friday morning.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Vice President Joe Biden says he’s well aware that the last eight years haven’t been easy for the nation’s workforce.

In remarks on Friday at a roundtable discussion at LanchCode in St. Louis, Biden says the economic downturn in the late 2000s  “clobbered” the middle class. And that had tangible consequences for struggling cities.

Express Scripts headquarters
Express Scripts

A large St. Louis-area employer is preparing for a leadership change as it battles one of its biggest clients in court. Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts is being sued by Anthem. The health insurance company claims it should have a bigger piece of the savings Express Scripts negotiates with drug makers.

Express Scripts CEO Paz to step down in May

Sep 9, 2015
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.

Stephen Cummings | Flickr

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.

St. Louis lands nine on new Fortune 500 list

May 7, 2012
(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.

Morning headlines: Monday, April 2, 2012

Apr 2, 2012
UPI/KMOX

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.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Jan. 6, 2012 - Consumers filled 88 million discounted prescriptions at Walgreens last year under the chain's agreement with Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefit company based in St. Louis. The arrangement gave Walgreens access to millions of additional customers while allowing Express Scripts to negotiate lower prices for company, government and union health plans.

Stephen Cummings | Flickr

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.

Express Scripts sues Walgreen in contract dispute

Sep 15, 2011
(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.

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