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Health insurer Cigna set to acquire Express Scripts
March 09, 2018
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NEW YORK: US health insurer Cigna Corporation is close to buying pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Holding Co, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The terms of the potential deal were not known, but a deal could be announced as soon as Thursday, the newspaper said. Express Scripts declined to comment on the report, while Cigna did not immediately respond to request seeking comment.

Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts, a middleman between insurers and drug makers, was worth $41.43 billion as of Wednesday’s close, while No. 5 US health insurer Cigna had a market cap of $47.18 billion, according to Thomson Reuters Eikon data.

A deal between Cigna and Express Scripts would follow the $69 billion acquisition of health insurer Aetna Inc by drugstore chain CVS Health Corp and would also reflect a move toward vertical consolidation, where members of a supply chain combine.

Healthcare payers and pharmacies are responding to a shifting landscape, including changes in the US Affordable Care Act, rising drug prices and the threat of competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com.

The CVS-Aetna deal was seen pressuring rival insurers, drugmakers, pharmaceutical benefits managers and retail pharmacies to consider mergers or switching partners to try to keep up with the potential healthcare cost savings or increase in profit margins.

Reuters

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