Cigna and Express Scripts Seal $54 Billion Merger

Health insurer Cigna completed its $54 billion acquisition of Express Scripts, which manages the prescription plans of more than 80 million Americans.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Cigna CEO David Cordani said new initiatives will take advantage of the combined access to medical and pharmaceutical data and focus on cost savings. He also stated that, with the new merger, the company will focus on transparency and “alignment with customers and other patients.” Prior to the merger’s approval, Express Scripts unveiled a plan that involved passing all rebates and other payments from drug companies directly to employers. Mr. Cordani remarked that the arrangement was “indicative of what we’ll be doing more together.”

The announcement follows the closing of CVS Health’s takeover of Aetna, as well as Anthem’s plan to build its own pharmacy benefits manager.

Takeovers like this have been met with mixed reviews. A survey from the National Business Group on Health earlier this year found that only 26 percent of employers were optimistic about the mergers’ success, 56 percent were skeptical they would lead to improvement, and 18 percent worried they would raise costs.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, December 20, 2018.