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Walmart, Express Scripts Sign Three-Year Prescription Drug Extension

Analysis  |  By Jack O'Brien  
   December 12, 2018

The retail giant and St. Louis-based insurer announced plans Wednesday to continue their prescription drug contract through 2021.

Walmart and Express Scripts agreed to a three-year contract extension Wednesday morning that allows the retail giant to provide prescription drug services to covered members of the St. Louis-based insurer. 

The arrangement has given Walmart access to unique pricing options on brand name prescription drugs through Express Scripts, which has more than 3,000 client employers and offers covered members access to affordable prescription drug options at Walmart's retail locations across the country. 

The contract extension also includes a commitment by both companies to provide affordable prescription drug services to underinsured and uninsured populations. This will build on Walmart's $4 prescription drug program and involve collaboration with Express Scripts for additional cost-effective solutions.

Wednesday's announcement is the latest in a series of strategic business moves both companies have made or considered throughout the year, as traditional players and corporate disrupters have continued to shape the industry. 

For months, Walmart has been the subject of rampant speculation about a potential merger with Humana, while Express Scripts is in the final phases of its $52 billion megamerger with Cigna Corp. 

Related: Walmart Escalates Strategy to Solve Employee Healthcare

Related: Cigna–Express Scripts Merger Clears DOJ Antitrust Review

C-suite perspective:

"Helping customers save money and live better is our mission at Walmart, and a key component of that is to help them save money on healthcare like prescription drugs," Luke Kleyn, vice president of payer relations at Walmart, said in a statement. "This new Agreement helps both insured and uninsured Americans access to affordable prescriptions."

"Our clients and patients value our ability to deliver quality, cost-effective care on their terms, and we are pleased to partner with Walmart to expand affordable access for insured and uninsured patients," Amy Bricker, president of supply chain at Express Scripts, said in a statement.

During early session trading, Walmart stock was down slightly by 0.10% while Express Scripts stock rose by more than 1.10%. 

Related: Express Scripts Net Income Tops $1B, EPS Up 28%

Jack O'Brien is the Content Team Lead and Finance Editor at HealthLeaders, an HCPro brand.


The deal provides Walmart's prescription drug services to Express Scripts' covered members.

An additional aspect of the agreement is a commitment to provide affordable prescription drug options to underinsured populations.

The move is in line with Walmart's continuing mission to grow its operations in the healthcare market.

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