Walgreens and Express Scripts have agreed to dismiss a lawsuit Express Scripts filed last year, alleging Walgreen published false marketing materials designed to encourage Medicare recipients to leave health plans that are Express Scripts clients.
Walgreens claimed the materials were important to inform people about the impact of what would happen when Walgreen left the Express Scripts network.
According to the Chicago Tribune, despite the suit being dismissed, it does not indicate the two sides are any closer to reaching a deal. Deerfield, Ill.-based Walgreen, the largest drugstore chain in the U.S., stopped filling prescriptions for members of Express Scripts in January after the two companies could not agree to terms to renew their contract.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Express Scripts is the industry’s largest pharmacy-benefit manager, which “handles drug benefits for health plans and corporate customers while using their buying power to seek drug manufacturer rebates.”
The Wall Street Journal also reported that Walgreens has dealt with customer losses since the contract with Express Scripts ended because customers have had to seek out other pharmacies to get the best prices. Despite that, shares of Walgreen rose 1.2 percent to $30.30 in after-hours trading Friday. Express Scripts shares were unchanged after-hours following a 2.9 percent slide during regular trading.
Walgreens and Express Script have agreed to dismiss the suit, but in a statement Walgreen provided the Wall Street Journal, the company stressed that it doesn’t signify that the sides are close to an agreement.
“These dismissals have no impact on the parties’ ability or inability to come to terms on a pharmacy agreement,” Walgreen said in a brief statement.
A brief note was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois stating that Walgreen and Express Script have agreed to dismiss the suit.
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