What the $52-billion Cigna purchase of Express Scripts means for consumers

What the $52-billion Cigna purchase of Express Scripts means for consumers

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The healthcare industry is consolidating in a series of head-snapping deals. But like many of the recent multibillion-dollar combinations, it’s not clear whether the just-announced $52-billion merger of Cigna Corp. and Express Scripts Holding Co. will deliver lower premiums or cheaper drugs for consumers.

On Thursday, health insurance giant Cigna announced it will buy Express Scripts, the largest pharmacy benefit manager in the country. Unless federal regulators move to block it — as they did with two recent proposed health insurance company tie-ups — the merger is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

It’s just the latest sign that healthcare giants are trying to…



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