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Cigna to Acquire Express Scripts for $67B to Expand Consumer Value

Cigna is purchasing Express Scripts to expand Cigna's value proposition to consumers and improve their financial opportunities.

Cigna to purchase Express Scripts for $69 billion

Source: Thinkstock

By Thomas Beaton

Update 8/24/2018: Cigna shareholders have overwhelmingly voted to approve the acquisition of Express Scripts.  Approximately 90 percent of shareholders voted in favor of the deal, which is anticipated to close before the end of 2018.

Cigna is purchasing pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) Express Scripts Holding Company for $67 billion to improve consumer value, enhance care coordination models, and create long-term financial opportunities.

Cigna stated in a press release that the purchase provides several strategic advantages including the ability to improve distribution channels for members using online and retail purchasing.

The payer also sees the deal as a way to align provider responsibilities to patient outcomes and personalize consumer healthcare value through actionable healthcare analytics.

Cigna President and CEO David M. Cordani said the deal will enhance Cigna consumers’ ability to interact with healthcare systems in ways that drive the best possible care quality.

“Cigna’s acquisition of Express Scripts brings together two complementary customer-centric services companies, well-positioned to drive greater quality and affordability for customers,” Cordani said.

“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,” he continued. “Together, we will create an expanded portfolio of health services, delivering greater consumer choice, closer alignment between the customer and health care provider, and more personalized value.”

Express Scripts President and CEO Tim Wentworth stated that his company’s leadership in pharmacy benefit management, combined with Cigna’s value-based care models, can catalyze positive, consumer-centric changes in the healthcare industry.

“First and foremost, we believe this transaction delivers attractive value to the Express Scripts shareholders” Wentworth said.

“We will continue to have a distinct focus at Express Scripts and eviCore on partnering with health plans, and together, build tailored solutions for health plans and their members,” he added. “Importantly, this agreement is a testament to the work of our team and their resolute focus on providing the best care to patients, and the most value to clients.”

The transaction of the deal is expected to close on December 31st, 2018 and is still subject to Cigna and Express Script approvals and federal regulatory reviews.

The acquisition follows a surge of payers in recent months purchasing other healthcare companies and participating in industry consolidation.

Large commercial payers are planning to effectively transform the industry by vertically integrating provider and pharmacy services with health plan operations, which could increase financial footing and consumer-value.

Many of the recent mergers could create significant disparities in healthcare competition as commercial payers with established provider networks would own, or be owned, by other organizations with majority ownership of other healthcare markets.

Most notably, CVS’s planned purchase of Aetna for $69 billion would combine the nation’s largest PBM with one the US’s largest commercial insurers.

Humana plans to purchase a minority stake in Kindred Healthcare but the deal has been hit with blowback from an investor lawsuit.


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