Express Scripts

(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.