Sunday, January 08, 2012

Weekend Update

Congress remains in recess this week.  The House returns on January 17 and the Senate returns on January 23.

The FEHBlog doubts that federal regulators will approve the merger of the two large prescription benefits managers Express Scripts and Medco after the government rejected the AT&T - T-Mobile deal. However, Business Week reports that "Even as U.S. regulators take a tougher stance on takeovers, traders are convinced they can reap the biggest return in America by betting Express Scripts Inc. will win antitrust approval to buy Medco Health Solutions Inc." The Business Week article explains why investors are distinguishing between the two deals.

The FEHBlog has been wrong before. The FEHBlog never expected that Walgreens and Express Scripts would fail to resolve their contract dispute when it was first reported last summer. But here we are six months later and Express Scripts has stopped covering Walgreen's prescriptions. This dispute does not impact a lot of FEHB plan members but it affects a ton of TRICARE beneficiaries because Express Scripts is the sole PBM for TRICARE.

The Chicago Tribune explains why Walgreens is hurting but not down for the count. Business Week reports that Walgreens is asking Express Scripts to reopen negotiations. 

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