Express Scripts completes acquisition of WellPoint's NextRx subsidiaries

ST. LOUIS An acquisition of a health benefits company's subsidiaries by a pharmacy benefit manager will integrate services for members of affiliated health plans.

Express Scripts and WellPoint said the closing of Express Scripts' acquisition of WellPoint's NextRx subsidiaries includes a 10-year agreement under which Express Scripts, one of the largest pharmacy benefits management companies in North America, will provide pharmacy benefits management services, including home delivery and specialty pharmacy services, to members of the affiliated health plans of WellPoint, one of the nation's largest health benefits companies. Express Scripts acquired the NextRx subsidiaries for $4.675 billion, which includes consideration for the value of a future tax benefit for Express Scripts based on the structure of the transaction.

"Two industry leaders have aligned in an unprecedented way to promote better health and value for millions of Americans," said George Paz, Express Scripts chairman and CEO. "At this pivotal moment in American health care, the strategic alliance opens new horizons for improving outcomes for members while driving down overall healthcare costs."

The two companies will leverage integrated medical and pharmacy data for a more holistic view of members' health and related behaviors. WellPoint will seek to improve the effectiveness of its unparalleled clinical competencies through the success of Consumerology, Express Scripts' powerful application of the behavioral sciences to help members make better healthcare decisions. New insights will create potential for innovative programs that seek to drive improved health outcomes and reduce costs.

"The alliance brings new strength to Express Scripts' and WellPoint's essential roles in addressing today's critical health care issues," said Angela Braly, president and CEO of WellPoint. "As each organization expands the value of its leading health-information technologies, clinical expertise and thought leadership, the alliance will drive innovation in the development and implementation of integrated health benefits."

Plan sponsors and members will gain from industry-leading programs and shared best practices from both organizations. Healthcare administrators will achieve greater insight into drug trends and usage through Express Scripts' innovative reporting and modeling tools.

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