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No injunctive relief in Express Scripts-Walgreens suit
October 19th, 2011
DEERFIELD, Ill. – An arbitrator has denied injunctive relief to Walgreen Co. and Express Scripts Inc. in the pharmacy benefit manager's lawsuit against the drug chain.
Walgreens issued a statement Wednesday announcing the arbitrator's ruling, which it said was made Sunday evening.
"The arbitrator will consider the underlying merits of the parties' claims at a future date," Walgreens stated.
Express Scripts filed suit early last month in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois seeking injunctive relief to stop Walgreens from communicating with the PBM's plan members. In mid-September the judge granted Walgreens' motion to stay the proceedings pending arbitration.
Walgreens announced in late June that it plans to exit Express Scripts' pharmacy provider network as of Jan. 1 because of failed contract renewal talks. Negotiations have remained at an impasse, and Walgreens has since begun efforts to move forward without Express Scripts, including letter-writing campaign to benefit consultants and a white paper — included in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing — that spelled out options for health plans and employers.
An initial status hearing for the case, Express Scripts Inc. v. Walgreen Co., is scheduled before Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez on Nov. 3, published reports said.