NEW YORK (AP) -- Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts and drugstore operator Walgreen said Friday they are ending a legal dispute, but they said the settlement does not mean they will do business together again.
Walgreen said the two companies are dismissing their legal claims. However they said the decision has no impact on their ability to agree to business terms.
Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain, said last June that it would stop filling prescriptions for Express Scripts Holding Co. members when a contract between the companies expired. It said Express Scripts was not paying it enough money. In September Express Scripts sued Walgreen and said it was trying to lure away its customers, which violated the terms of their contract.
The contract expired Jan. 1. Walgreen said it was giving up about $5.3 billion in annual revenue, but it said that outcome was preferable to doing business on unacceptable terms.
A few weeks after the dispute between Walgreen and Express Scripts began, Express Scripts agreed to buy competitor Medco Health Solutions for $26.1 billion. The deal closed in April, and it made Express Scripts the largest pharmacy benefits manager in the U.S. by far. The St. Louis company expects to fill around 1.4 billion prescriptions in 2012. Shares of Express Scripts fell $1.52 to close at $50.67 amid a broader market sell-off, and shed a penny in extended trading.
Walgreen, based in Deerfield, Ill., runs 7,855 stores in all 50 states, Washington DC, and Puerto Rico. Shares of the company fell 59 cents to close at $29.93, then added back 35 cents in after-hours trading, to $30.28.