Pharmacy benefit management (PBM)

Walmart to pull pharmacies from CVS networks

A man walks in front of an aisle near Walmart's pharmacy.
Walmart is leaving CVS Health's pharmacy network. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Walmart is prepared to remove its pharmacies from the drug benefit network owned by CVS Health, as the two retail giants spar over drug pricing terms.

Why it matters: If a new agreement isn't reached by May, millions of people who fill their prescriptions at Walmart may have to find new pharmacies, and some of them inevitably will find their way to CVS' own drugstores.

Cigna completes deal for Express Scripts

A Cigna mobile unit sets up for health screenings.
Cigna has officially absorbed Express Scripts. Photo: Lisa Lake/Getty Images

Express Scripts, one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers in the country, is officially part of Cigna, the companies said today. The deal is valued at $67 billion, including Express Scripts' debt.

Why it matters: The three biggest PBMs in the country — Express Scripts, CVS Caremark and OptumRx — are now all housed within a bigger parent company that includes a health insurer (pending CVS' last-minute survival in court). Each conglomerate says combining a PBM and an insurer will save people money on drug costs, but there's room for skepticism.

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