News Column

Express Scripts looking to reduce staff through buyouts, including 55 in North Versailles

April 30, 2014

By Alex Nixon, The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review



April 30--Express Scripts Holding Co. is offering buyouts to workers across the country in an effort to cut costs amid falling prescription volume.

The St. Louis-based pharmacy benefits manager wants 260 employees to accept the offer, including 55 pharmacists at its facility in North Versailles, spokesman Brian Henry said.

"It was clear that we were overstaffed in some areas so we've taken action to address that," he said.

News of the buyouts comes a day after Express Scripts said its net income fell to $328.3 million, down 12 percent from $373 million a year earlier.

The company manages drug benefits for insurers, employers and government health plans and sell medicines through its mail-order pharmacy, servicing as a middlemen between patients and drugmakers.

Last year, it acquired rival Medco in a $29 billion deal to become the largest pharmacy benefits manager in the country.

Volume of prescriptions handled by Express Scripts fell in part because it lost one of Medco's largest customers, United Healthcare, which began administering pharmacy benefits on its own, Henry said.

"We knew they were going to take prescriptions in-house," he said. "That's a big part of the reduction."

In North Versailles, the company is offering all 140 pharmacists the buyout offer with the goal of 55 accepting. The company employs 700 people at the facility, which reviews prescriptions before they are sent to customers' homes.

A variety of job types are being targeted at other facilities, Henry said, with a goal of 260 people total taking a buyout.

Express Scripts employs a total of 29,000 across all its operations.

The company is in the process of constructing a new facility in North Huntingdon where it expects to transfer work currently performed in North Versailles. That project is not affected, Henry said.

Alex Nixon is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-320-7928 or anixon@tribweb.com.

___

(c)2014 The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.)

Visit The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (Greensburg, Pa.) at www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib

Distributed by MCT Information Services


For more stories on investments and markets, please see HispanicBusiness' Finance Channel



Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA)