Express Scripts inks 3-year deal with Walmart

Walmart self-checkout
Walmart says its contract extension will give uninsured patients access to prescription drugs. (Walmart)

Express Scripts, soon to be under the ownership of Cigna, closed a three-year extension with Walmart on Wednesday to provide members access to the retail giant’s prescription services.

The agreement will help both insured and uninsured consumers save on prescription drugs, the companies said in an announcement.

The deal includes what Express Scripts calls a “novel solution” called InsideRx that provides an average 40% discount to uninsured Americans on “a number of brand-name prescriptions.”

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"Prescription drugs are the first line of treatment for many illnesses, and it is critical to create and sustain affordable access to innovative therapies," Amy Bricker, president of supply chain at Express Scripts said in a statement. "Our clients and patients value our ability to deliver quality, cost-effective care on their terms, and we are pleased to partner with Walmart to expand affordable access for insured and uninsured patients."

Walmart, which operates 4,700 pharmacies across the country, has a long-standing program that offers $4 prescriptions and said it is “committed to continued collaboration with Express Scripts on pricing solutions for people with no healthcare coverage and products not covered by insurance.”

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"Helping customers save money and live better is our mission at Walmart, and a key component of that is to help them save money on healthcare like prescription drugs," said Luke Kleyn, vice president of payer relations at Walmart. "This new agreement helps both insured and uninsured Americans access to affordable prescriptions."

Walmart, which was rumored earlier this year to be eyeing a deal to buy Humana, has shown a willingness to partner with other insurers, including Anthem. Meanwhile, Express Scripts is close to finalizing its $67 billion deal with Cigna.