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October 13, 2017

Recent Stories

From Drug Benefit News - In a move that pulls pharmacy benefits management together with broader medical benefits management, Express Scripts Holding Co. has reached an agreement to acquire privately held eviCore healthcare for $3.6 billion, the PBM giant said Oct. 10. Express Scripts manages pharmacy benefits for 80 million people, while South Carolina-based eviCore manages medical benefits for 100 million people. The mega-deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2017. “At the conclusion of this deal, one out of every three Americans will have a benefit managed by us,” giving St. Read more

As the opioid crisis continues to rage, Cigna Corp. on Oct. 4… Read more

Triple-S Management Corp.’s $2 billion-plus managed care subsidiary is striving to aid… Read more

California lawmakers have approved what some are calling “the most comprehensive legislation”… Read more

From the Editor

Welcome to your Drug Benefit News subscriber-only Web page

Be sure to visit often, for PDFs of issues, archives of articles and data, and more!

Please e-mail me with comments on the last issue of Drug Benefit News, story ideas for future issues or any other suggestions you have that can make the newsletter more useful for you.

September 28, 2017
Health Affairs urges PBMs to adopt stricter opioid edits on opt-out basis

In a recent blog posting, Health Affairs urged PBMs to start making opioid utilization management edits in accordance with CDC recommendations a standard feature in formulary management, so that plan sponsors must opt out if they do not want the feature in benefit plans, rather than requiring employers to opt in in order to get stricter opioid edits. View the post at

August 2, 2017
CMS Unveils 2018 Standard Control Formulary

CMS will remove 17 drugs across 10 classes from its Standard Control Formulary in 2018, will launch Transform Value program in oncology, obesity, respiratory areas

July 31, 2017
Express Scripts Releases 2018 National Preferred Formulary

Express Scripts releases 2018 National Preferred Formulary, adding 64 drug exclusions for a total of 159. PBM says it expects employers who use the NPF will save an additional $2.5 billion next year

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