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Express Scripts (ESRX) to Launch Pilot Program, Shares Up

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Express Scripts Holding Company announced the launch of a 12-month pilot program in fall 2018, to simplify pharmacy experience for 80 million patients.

This innovative cost-effective network is likely to improve patient outcomes and bolster the company’s existing relationship with pharmacies.

Share Price Performance

Following the announcement, shares of Express Scripts have jumped 2.3% to close at $71.61.

Notably, in a year’s time, the shares have rallied 7.8% compared with the industry’s mere gain of 0.9%.

The Pilot Program in Detail

Express Scripts is keeping no stone unturned to maintain its leading position in the global Pharmacy Benefit Management industry. The latest development promises to build a retail-pharmacy network in the United States.

Per the postulates of the Pilot program, pharmacies that are willing to take part will be able to assess their own performance and identify possible loopholes through a web portal.

Per management, the Pilot program will enhance clinical experience and usable patient data. The program will also focus on augmenting medication therapy, reducing patient costs and refining medical adherence for better patient outcomes.

Notably, the pilot program’s standard of measurements is recognized by the Pharmacy Quality Alliance (PQA). Per management, the company’s ability to work across the pharmacy value chain led to newer healthcare outcomes, generating $32 billion savings in 2017.

Healthcare IT’s Prospects

Per a study by Markets and Markets, the global healthcare IT market is projected to reach $280.25 billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 15.9%.
Majority of the demand for healthcare IT solutions is driven by the growing need to reduce healthcare costs, while adhering to the regulatory requirements set by government organizations.

In Conclusion

Per estimates of the U.S. government, national health expenditure in 2016 hit $3.5 trillion, which works out to $10,345 per person. A surge of 5.8% in healthcare expenses is projected in the period between 2015 and 2025.
Hence, it can be concluded that Express Scripts’ move has been timely and strategic.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

Express Scripts carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the broader medical space are BIOHAVEN PHARM (BHVN - Free Report) , Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (BIO - Free Report) and Envision Healthcare Corporation .

BIOHAVEN has an expected earnings growth rate of 50% for the current quarter. The stock sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Bio-Rad has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 20%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

Envision has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 13%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2.

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