Express Scripts battle with Anthem raises questions about drug prices

Express Scripts is tangled in a public feud over billions of dollars with Anthem Inc., its biggest client and the nation’s second largest health insurer.

Anthem believes it is being overcharged for Express Scripts’ services and filed suit against the company last year in an attempt to recoup nearly $15 billion.

Even though Express Scripts denies the allegations, the north St. Louis County-based pharmacy benefit manager has offered to shave $3 billion from the remainder of Anthem’s contract that runs through the end of 2019 in an attempt to retain its largest client.

Industry experts say the battle between the two companies raises questions about whether consumers are paying more for prescription drugs than they should be.

As the nation’s largest pharmacy benefits manager, Express Scripts provides more than 80 million Americans with prescription drugs. Employers and health insurance companies hire Express Scripts to purchase drugs on their behalf and manage pharmacy claims.

Express Scripts uses its leverage to put pressure on drug manufacturers to reduce the cost of prescriptions. But some wonder how much of the savings Express Scripts squeezes from manufacturers is ultimately passed on to consumers.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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