Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Prescription for Success Benefit Plans Spark No. 2 Express Scripts

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Prescription for Success Benefit Plans Spark No. 2 Express Scripts

Article excerpt

This year, Express Scripts Inc., the nation's sixth-largest pharmacy benefits management company, savored continual doses of success. The treatment gave the company enough strength to grasp the No. 2 ranking.

Moving up from last year's No. 3 spot, Express Script's net revenue increased to $773.6 million in 1996 from $544.5 million in 1995, a 42-percent change. This is the company's seventh straight year of increasing revenue and earnings, said Barrett A. Toan, president and chief executive officer. This increase, he says, is a reflection of the growing demand for the service.

"Pharmaceutical benefit is the most commonly used health-care benefit. The average person uses about six pharmaceuticals per year, and they have about six other medical encounters per year, like doctor's visits or x-rays," said Toan. "The company has grown because the service itself has become more and more popular, and we have found new ways to add value for our customer." Express Scripts mainly provides managed prescription drug services, including mail-order drugs and electronic claims processing, to corporate health plans, insurers and managed health-care companies. But the company, said Toan, does more than just merely provide. "Express Scripts improves people's access to pharmacies, makes it easier for them to get their prescriptions filled, and cuts the cost of the way they fill those prescriptions," he said. "Once people have had access to this kind of pharmaceutical program, the company offering it is very reluctant to take it away, because it's such a great benefit." Several turning points marked the year for the company, which was founded in 1986 with only 50 employees. It now employs more than 1,500 people at two locations - its headquarters in Maryland Heights and a branch location in Tempe, Ariz. In 1996, for the third year in a row, Fortune ranked Express Scripts among its 100 fastest-growing publicly held companies. Among the 9,000 companies the magazine reviewed, Express Scripts ranked 65th, joining only 13 companies that have made the list for a third year. The company's rapid growth continued into this year, when it added approximately 1 million new members during the first quarter. About half of those members joined due to a contract with RightCHOICE Managed Care, Inc., bringing the total pharmacy benefit management membership to 10. …

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