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Firm seals healthy purchase

PRESCRIPTION benefits manager Express Scripts Inc said yesterday that it is buying health insurer WellPoint Inc's pharmaceutical benefit management subsidiaries for just under US$4.68 billion.

The buyout of Indianapolis-based WellPoint's NextRx subsidiaries includes a consideration for the value of a future tax benefit that St Louis-based Express Scripts might receive.

The transaction includes a 10-year contract for Express Scripts to provide services to WellPoint following closing of the transaction.

"Our aligned business model, combined with the complementary expertise and capabilities of WellPoint, creates significant opportunities for accelerated growth for both organizations," said Express Scripts Chairman and Chief Executive George Paz in a statement.

The NextRx subsidiaries provide pharmaceutical benefit management services to about 25 million Americans and manage more than 265 million prescriptions annually.


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