Cigna to Buy Express Scripts

Health insurer Cigna plans to purchase Express Scripts, which manages the prescription plans of more than 80 million Americans, for $52 billion. The deal signals a trend of insurance companies desiring more direct contact with consumers; in December 2017, CVS entered a $69 million bid to purchase the health insurer Aetna.

Cigna and Express Scripts said the acquisition would allow both companies to leverage their combined data on patients’ medical and pharmacy histories to better target care and lower costs.

“This step furthers our strategy to improve the affordability and value to the consumer in a more personalized way,” said Cigna CEO David Cordani, MBA, who will lead the combined company.

With the closing of this deal, all major pharmacy benefit managers will have ties to big insurance companies, leaving none with which smaller insurers can work.

Sources: AP News, March 8, 2018. The New York Times, March 8, 2018.