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Express Scripts gets FTC information request


WOONSOCKET, R.I.--The Federal Trade Commission is seeking information from Express Scripts Inc. just as the St. Louis, Mo.-based pharmacy benefit manager is trying to outbid drugstore chain CVS Corp. to take over one of its competitors.

The request from the federal agency that monitors antitrust issues comes just days after Express Scripts raised its offer for Nashville, Tenn.-based rival Caremark Rx Inc. to $26.3 billion. Woonsocket, R.I.-based CVS matched the Express Scripts offer on Thursday. CVS shareholders are set to vote on the deal March 15, followed the next day by Caremark shareholders.

In submitting its sweetened offer for Caremark, Express Scripts said that it expected to receive a "second request" from the FTC, but that it should pass muster.

"The pharmacy benefit management marketplace is highly competitive and will remain so after the combination of Express Scripts and Caremark," said George Paz, president, chief executive officer and chairman, in a company press release.

"For example, more than 30 different companies provide prescription drug program management services to the Fortune 500. As a result, we believe that we can successfully complete the regulatory review process in a timely manner," Mr. Paz said.