Cigna gets DOJ approval to buy St. Louis based Express Scripts

Justice Department OKs Cigna's $52 billion acquisition of Express Scripts

The U.S. Department of Justice has given an earlier-than-expected all-clear to Cigna Corp.'s quest to acquire pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts, a move that presages further consolidation among those left standing alone in the health-care sector.

While the federal antitrust division will not seek to block the merger, the deal is still subject to state regulators and various departments of insurance.

Express Scripts shares rose 3.7 percent to $95.23 at the close of trading in NY. The merger is unlikely to lessen competition substantially in the sale of PBM services because Cigna's PBM business nationwide is small, the DOJ stated. "The value that we deliver together will help put our society on a far more sustainable path - one that helps health care professionals close gaps in care and supports our customers along their health journey". Express Scripts also owns specialty pharmacies that distribute pricey drugs.

Cigna and Express Scripts said 16 states have approved the merger already.

"If Cigna is allowed to become the latest in the trend to take PBM needs in-house, it is more likely that consumers could end up at the mercy of a handful of giants - each with its own siloed services - and the choices they now enjoy for medical care and pharmacy needs becoming a thing of the past", Consumers Union senior policy counsel told US lawmakers earlier this year.

Officials at Bloomfield, Conn. -based Cigna and St. Louis-based Express Scripts have said their merger would drive higher quality care and affordability by offering insurance and pharmacy services under one roof.

UCL roundup: Roberto Firmino stuns PSG, Lionel Messi scripts yet another record
"I think this year we're confident as a team", he said. "One of them a yard less tonight and it's game over". PSG's crippling defense played a poor and unstable game as it costed them the tie.

"Both insurers and pharmacy benefit managers serve as middlemen for employers and governments, and the proposed mergers are an attempt to convince their customers that they are working to reduce costs", Reed Abelson observes for the New York Times. "... The Justice Department review of CVS's planned purchase of Aetna may conclude this month, but will take longer because of divestitures needed to resolve competitive concerns, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters". CVS and Aetna shares also rose, closing up 1.5 percent and 1 percent, respectively.

Some analysts say the tie-up should help control costs by merging drug and medical benefits management, though the deal was criticized sharply by activist investor Carl Icahn as making little sense.

The Justice Department's approval of the Cigna-Express Scripts deal did not come as a shock.

Regulators spent six months on the investigation, reviewed more than 2 million documents and interviewed more than 100 people from within the industry before reaching their conclusion, DOJ said.

Express Scripts at the time was concerned about continuing as a standalone PBM when so many competitors were consolidating and new entrants like Amazon were rumored to be scoping out the healthcare market.

Related News:

Most liked

Amazon launches small business shop
The new platform is called Storefronts and contains a collection of over one million products from almost 20,000 businesses.

The Captain Marvel trailer pulls off something fantastic
The first trailer has been wildly praised by fans and elicited some of the best reactions and memes to its content. After months and months of wait, Marvel fans can finally rejoice as the Captain Marvel's first trailer is out.

Amazon probing staff data leaks
An Amazon spokesperson said any employee in violation of the code faces possible termination and criminal penalties. According to WSJ , Amazon has been investigating this topic for months.

Justin Bieber and Hailey Baldwin married, says uncle Alec despite model's denial
Bieber, 24, was born in Canada but since moving to the United States at the age of 13, he has mainly lived in America. According to TMZ , the singer wants dual citizenship, meaning he would retain his Canadian status.

Uber driver suing Jameis Winston over groping incident
The league also said after the investigation that it found the driver's account of the incident "consistent and credible". While a student at Florida State, Winston was accused of sexual assault, but prosecutors declined to filed charges.

Hungary’s leader: European Union seeks to undermine border defense…
Orban said this is the stance he would represent at a meeting of European Union leaders in Salzburg later this week. Mr Orban presents himself as the defender of Hungary and Europe against Muslim migrants.

Red Dead Redemption 2's Online Mode Launches In November As A Beta
Rockstar says the "initial" launch will be a beta and players should expect some instability and issues in the early days. The original Red Dead Redemption and its online counterpart never made it onto PC, though GTA 5 did.

First Pixel 3 Press Renders Looks Official
The Pixel 3 XL is seen to have a deep notch, which some users would consider ugly given the lack of symmetry in design. However, the Pixel 3 has been listed on the Chinese website, carrying a price tag of $729 (RMB 4,999).

Oops! Airline spells its own name wrong on side of plane
A user named HK Phil said: "If they can get this obviously (it) makes you wonder about the important engineering on the plane!" Travellers at Hong Kong International Airport spotted the sign-writer's mistake and contacted the airline immediately.

UEFA Champions League Report: Valencia v Juventus 19 September 2018
Scholes , a notoriously clumsy tackler in his day, never earned more than four yellows in one campaign. Lopetegui has insisted he is ready to embrace the pressure of Real's Champions League defence.

At least four hurt after 'active shooter' opens fire in Middleton
Middleton Police Chief Charles Foulke said that the building, where the shooting took place, was cleared and secured. A large number of emergency services, including a SWAT team and multiple ambulances, responded to the shooting.

Juventus investigated by Uefa over £99m Cristiano Ronaldo signing
However, the Portugal worldwide turned things around when he scored a brace in his side's 3-0 win over Sassuolo at the weekend. Cristiano Ronaldo was shocked by the decision and broke into tears before being ushered down the tunnel by his team-mates.

YouTube Gaming app getting shut down in March 2019
YouTube Gaming isn't going anywhere right away, though - Google says it will continue to support the app until March 2019. He even directly credits Twitch with some inspiration, saying, "Twitch does a really good job with game discoverability".

Black Panther Director To Produce Space Jam Sequel
The Hollywood Reporter reports that the tentative production schedule is set to begin in 2019. Warner Bros . has not announced a formal title or release date for the Space Jam sequel.

Shallotte woman killed when Horry Co. transport van caught in flood
Neither woman has an arrest record in SC , according to documents obtained from the State Law Enforcement Division. The two women were being transported from Conway to Darlington, according to the Horry County Sheriff's Office .