Leading pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts Holding Company ESRX and retail giant Walmart Inc. WMT recently announced a three-year agreement to deliver affordable prescription solutions to underinsured and uninsured Americans. Financial terms of the deal have been kept under wraps.
Number of Uninsured Americans in 2018
A news report by Forbes reveals that the number of people in the United States without health insurance has risen to 15.5% as of May 2018, up from 12.7% two years ago.
Considering the growing number of uninsured American populace, the latest development seems to be a timely one.
What’s the Plan Ahead?
In the latest initiative, Express Scripts and Walmart plan to increase affordable access of the prescription drugs for insured and uninsured Americans. These drugs are generally expensive and are considered the first line of treatment for many diseases.
Walmart will leverage on Express Scripts’ pharmacy-savings platforms on brand-name prescription drugs. One such unit is InsideRx, which provides significant discounts (of almost 40%) to uninsured Americans brand-name prescription drugs.
Headquartered in Franklin Lakes, New Jersey, Inside Rx is a subsidiary company of Express Scripts. It provides affordable access to medication, especially for the uninsured and those navigating the changing healthcare landscape.
Per management at Walmart, the latest development will help Americans afford health and wellness products, including the prescription needs in urban, rural and suburban areas.
Share Price Movement
Express Scripts’ stock has outperformed its industry in a year’s time. The stock has gained 40.4% during this period compared with the industry's gain of 28.4%. The current level is also higher than the S&P 500 index's decline of 0.7% over the same time frame. The stock has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Express Scripts Holding Company Price and Consensus
Express Scripts Holding Company Price and Consensus | Express Scripts Holding Company Quote
Meanwhile, shares of Walmart lost 4.2% in a year’s time. This is wider than its industry’s decline of 1% over the same time frame.
Express Scripts actively pursues deals and acquisitions. The company recently announced plans of expanding its customized workers' compensation pharmacy solutions through the acquisition of myMatrixx, a pharmacy benefit solutions provider for the workers' compensation industry. Furthermore, the acquisition decision of eviCore comes at an interesting time in the healthcare and pharmacy space, as PBM leaders like Express Scripts await a possible decision from e-commerce player Amazon.com, who may or may not move into pharmacy benefits.
Lately, Saratoga County announced an agreement with Inside Rx to offer the Inside Rx discount savings card to Saratoga County residents as part of the County's Prescription Drug Discount Program.
Recently, the company collaborated with Petco with a view to enable millions of pet parents to order and receive pet medicines from the comfort and convenience of home.
Stocks to Consider
A few better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are Quidel Corporation QDEL and STAAR Surgical Company STAA.
Quidel has long-term expected earnings growth rate of 25% and a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
With a Zacks Rank #1, STAAR Surgical delivered average four-quarter positive earnings surprise of 400%.
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