April 13, 2009

Express Scripts to buy NextRx

U.S. pharmacy benefits management firm Express Scripts Inc. said Monday it agreed to buy NextRx, a subsidiary of WellPoint Inc., for $4.675 billion.

NextRx manages prescription benefits for about 25 million customers and handles more than 265 million prescriptions a year, Express Scripts said.

This collaboration ... represents a shared commitment to achieving optimal health outcomes while driving out wasteful spending, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Express Scripts George Paz said in a statement.

The alliance will create an organization with greater resources and capabilities, CEO of WellPoint Angela Braly said.

The companies expect to close on the deal in the second half of the year, the statement said.

Cheryl Leamon, a spokeswoman for WellPoint, said most of NextRx's 2,100 workers would be switched to Express Scripts jobs, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Along with the acquisition, WellPoint said it had signed a 10-year contract with Express Scripts for administrative services.