Take that, Express Scripts!

CVS has a tough ad in the Wall Street Journal (and probably elsewhere) slamming Express Scripts’ competing offer for Caremark.

Some of the animus is directed at Caremark management, which is basically accused of being incompetent:

[Express Scripts/Caremark would] risk losing substantial business, including three clients alone that account for $8 billion in revenues annually. Caremark has won approximately $1 billion in net revenues from Express Scripts since 2004 and many of these clients left Express Scripts over dissatisfaction with service and performance. They would almost certainly leave again if Express Scripts were to acquire Caremark

It’s an interesting point. On the other hand, I’ve heard analysts say it differently, that Express Scripts would benefit from Caremark’s knowhow and relationships.

CVS is on thinner ice when claiming that Caremark shareholders would miss out on the $500 million cost synergies that CVS projects. Cost synergies seem more likely in a combination of two PBMs than in the combination of a PBM and a pharmacy chain.

After listing out the issues for shareholders, CVS adds a list of problems for consumers and employers.  It’s interesting that these stakeholders are included –I’m not sure they’re relevant for a shareholder decision except indirectly as they affect the company’s long-term prospects.

Should be interesting to see how this mud-slinging chapter ends.

February 9, 2007

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