NEW YORK (AP) — Express Scripts Inc. said Monday that it completed its $29.1 billion acquisition of Medco Health Solutions Inc., creating the largest pharmacy benefits manager in the country by far.
The closing came after the Federal Trade Commission voted to close its investigation into the deal, clearing the last hurdle in its path. Express Scripts shares rose $2.29, or 4.3 percent, to $56.47 in premarket trading.
The deal creates a pharmacy benefits manager, or PBM, so large that it will handle the prescriptions of about 135 million people, or more than one in three Americans.
Both companies touted the savings and efficiency that the combination would create, while others in the industry have voiced concerns about competition.
Last week, an alliance of drugstores and community pharmacists filed a federal lawsuit to stop the deal from going through, saying it would create a giant pharmacy benefits manager with too much leverage and market share.
Express Scripts Chairman and CEO George Paz said the combination of the two companies will both lower costs and improve patient care.