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Anthem To Turn To CVS After Troubled Express Scripts Deal
Updated October 18, 2017 9:46 AM | Filed under: Health
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(UNDATED) - Anthem has found a new partner to help run prescription drug coverage after the Blue Cross-Blue Shield insurer's rocky relationship with Express Scripts ends.

Tom Murphy, of the Associated press reports, the nation's second-largest insurer says it will create a pharmacy benefits manager called IngenioRx starting in 2020 and will work with CVS Health Corp. to manage the business. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Shares of Express Scripts slid 2 percent before the opening bell on the news Wednesday, while CVS and headed in opposite direction.

Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, run prescription drug plans for employers, government agencies and insurers, among other clients. They use their large purchasing power to negotiate prices.

Anthem, based in Indianapolis, provides health coverage to more than 40 million people in several states, including big markets like New York and California. The insurer said its PBM will serve its health plans as well as customers outside Anthem. CVS Health, based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, will process claims and provide other services. The companies agreed to a five-year deal.

Anthem had left the PBM business in 2009, when it sold its operations to Express Scripts Holding Co. for about $4.7 billion. The two companies started working together, but their relationship soured as they started squabbling publicly over prices.

That fighting led to a lawsuit filed by Anthem last year. The insurer said it wanted to recover damages for drug prices that are higher than competitive benchmarks. Express Scripts said the case had no merit.

Shares of Express Scripts slipped back in April when it said Anthem, its biggest customer, didn't plan to extend its contract after the deal expires in 2019.

The St. Louis company's stock dipped again Wednesday. It fell 2.3 percent, or $1.34, to $55.87 in early morning trading. Meanwhile, CVS shares climbed 87 cents to $73.50.



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