Cigna is set to officially close its deal to acquire pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts after getting final regulatory approval from New Jersey today. First announced back in March, this deal follows United Health’s acquisition of OptumRx and CVS Health’s acquisition of Aetna – ending the days of big standalone PBMs.
The goal of the deal is to allow health insurer Cigna to offer a more integrated package of benefits that will improve patient experience and decrease costs. As vertical integration in healthcare takes hold, employers will have a role to play to ensure it does in fact bring greater efficiency and savings, rather than less competition, fewer choices, and higher costs for consumers. See our post from last March for more insight into our initial response.