Cigna, Express Scripts plan merger

Friday, March 9, 2018

BLOOMFIELD, Conn. – Health insurance giant Cigna Corporation plans to acquire Express Scripts for $67 billion, it announced Thursday.

Express Scripts is the largest pharmacy benefits manager in the United States, covering more than 80 million lives, according to news reports.

“Cigna’s acquisition of Express Scripts brings together two complementary customer-centric services companies, well-positioned to drive greater quality and affordability for customers,” said David M. Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna in a press release. “This combination accelerates Cigna’s enterprise mission of improving the health, well-being and sense of security of those we serve, and in turn, expanding the breadth of services for our customers, partners, clients, health plans and communities.”

Cordani will assume the role of president and CEO of the combined company; Tim Wentworth, president and CEO of Express Scripts, will assume the role of president of Express Scripts.

While both organizations say the move will expand consumer choice and create better value, others disagree.

“We’re still assessing the implications of a Cigna-Express Scripts merger, but one thing is clear: Consolidation among health care giants leads to fewer choices for patients and plan sponsors,” said Douglas Hoey, CEO of the National Community Pharmacists Association, in a press release. “In addition, companies make claims of cost savings that will benefit patients and health plan sponsors, but the available evidence from previous consolidations suggests otherwise.”

The deal is the latest sign of upheaval in the market. In December, CVS Health announced a planned merger with Aetna. In January, Amazon announced it would partner with Berkshire Hathaway.

The deal is expected to be finalized in December 2018, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.