Newswise — With generic drugs now available in most therapy classes, Express Scripts has developed GenericsWorkSM, a new program that helps prescription benefit plan sponsors to save even more money through even greater generic drug utilization without shifting costs to consumer members of their plans.

GenericsWork is built around Express Scripts' High Performance Formulary, a generics-based formulary that promotes generics and low-cost brands. The program also includes proven educational tools on the clinical and economic value of generic drugs, encouraging appropriate use of generics and lower-cost brand drugs.

Plan sponsors that implement GenericsWork will see their generic dispensing rate increase to approximately 70% of all drugs dispensed. Their annual drug cost trend -- the increase in overall drug costs " will also be less than 5% for each of the next three years. This is a significant saving compared to the double-digit growth that most plans have experienced for the past five years. Plan sponsors can even elect to link their payments to Express Scripts to their annual trend under this program.

For example, a plan sponsor providing prescription benefits for 100,000 members would realize at least $25 million in savings over three years. By maximizing its generic dispensing rate, the plan sponsor will also reduce annual drug cost trend increases going forward. Express Scripts' statistics show that for every 1% increase in generic drug use, prescription benefit plan sponsors save 1% off their cost for drugs in providing the benefit.

GenericsWork also offers savings for consumers who are plan members via a three-tier copayment structure by increasing their utilization of generic drugs. Plan members often have an $8 copayment for generic drugs and a $20 copayment for low cost brand drugs listed on the formulary.

"Achieving greater use of less expensive generic and lower-cost brand drugs is one of the most important and effective ways Express Scripts makes prescription drugs more affordable for our clients and their members," said Barrett Toan, chairman and chief executive officer of Express Scripts. "GenericsWork uses methods proven to increase the use of generics in prescription benefit plans of all sizes."

The launch of GenericsWork builds upon increased utilization of generic drugs across the Express Scripts client base and offers a solution to increase generic fill rate by 20 percentage points for an average client. For 2003, the number of Express Scripts prescriptions filled using generics rose to 48% of all prescription claims processed, up from 43% a year earlier. The company's overall generic dispensing rate increased to 49% in the first quarter of 2004.

Additionally, GenericsWork is poised to take advantage of the new generic drugs entering the market, as well as help plan sponsors maintain and grow their utilization, as appropriate. By the end of 2008, branded pharmaceutical products accounting for more than $38 billion in sales last year are expected to face generic competition, resulting in significant savings for plan sponsors and their members.

Express Scripts, Inc. (Nasdaq: ESRX) is one of the largest pharmacy benefit management (PBM) companies in North America, providing PBM services to over 50 million members through facilities in 13 states and Canada. Express Scripts serves thousands of client groups, including managed care organizations, insurance carriers, third-party administrators, employers and union-sponsored benefit plans.

Express Scripts provides integrated PBM services, including network pharmacy claims processing, mail pharmacy services, benefit design consultation, drug utilization review, formulary management, disease management, medical and drug data analysis services, and medical information management services. The Company also provides distribution services for specialty pharmaceuticals through its Specialty Distribution subsidiary. Express Scripts is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri. More information can be found at http://www.express-scripts.com, which includes expanded investor information and resources.

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