Soaring prescription prices cause a nasty divorce in the healthcare market

Money always ranks high among the reasons for divorce. In the failing marriage between Anthem Blue Cross and Express Scripts, it’s reasons one through 15 billion. That’s how many dollars the party of the first part thinks its been cheated by the party of the second part.

For those who missed the wedding announcement back in 2009, the first is the nation’s second-largest health insurance company and his (or her) partner is the nation’s biggest pharmacy benefits management firm, or PBM. They seemed to be in a marriage made in heaven, until household finances strained the relationship to the breaking point. To be precise, the issue is the run-up in pharmaceutical prices, which Express Scripts was tasked with moderating but — according to Anthem — failed to deliver or even pocketed the savings.

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Michael Hiltzik of Los Angeles Times 3/22/16