Medco Health Solutions

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Medco Health Solutions, Inc.
Defunct, formerly public
Traded asMHS on the NYSE
IndustryPharmacy Benefit Management
HeadquartersFranklin Lakes, New Jersey
Key people
David B. Snow Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Kenneth O. Klepper, President and Chief Operating Officer
RevenueIncrease $70 Billion USD (2011)
Increase $1.46 Billion USD (2011)
Number of employees

Medco Health Solutions, Inc. was an American Pharmacy Benefits Management (PBM) company which served more than 65 million people, before it was ultimately acquired by Express Scripts in April 2012. Medco provided pharmacy services for private and public employers, health plans, labor unions, government agencies, and individuals served by Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. Medco was a member of the S&P 500 and ranked number 34 on the 2011 Fortune 500 list, with 2011 revenues of more than $70 billion. It earned the No. 1 ranking in the Healthcare: Pharmacy and Other Services category on Fortune magazine's World's Most Admired Companies list for five consecutive years (2008-2012).


Medco was founded as National Pharmacies in 1983. In 1984, after an IPO, National Pharmacies became Medco Containment Services, LLC. In 1993, Medco Containment was acquired by Merck & Co., Inc. and became Merck-Medco. In August 2003, Medco Health Solutions, Inc. became an independent company in one of the largest domestic spin-offs at the time. In April 2012 it was acquired by Express Scripts.

In Oct, 1999, Medco announced to team with the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) to improve care for its members who suffer from digestive health conditions, and to raise awareness of gastrointestinal diseases through its Digestive Health Solutions(TM) health management program.[1]

On October 2, 2001, UnitedHealth Group, Merck-Medco and Accenture launched Xceleron Health LLC, a company created to deliver consulting and business acceleration services to emerging technology-based companies in the healthcare industry.[2] On August 28, 2005, Medco Health Solutions of Fort Worth, Texas, contributed $5,000 to the Southwestern Oklahoma State University College of Pharmacy Scholarship Fund.[3]

In October, 2005, Medco was selected as the finalist of a three-year pharmacy benefit contract for the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) Self-Funded Health Plans to begin July 1, 2006.[4]


In 2004 Medco settled a lawsuit brought by 20 states alleging that they failed to disclose incentives they received from drug companies and improperly switched or pressured doctors to switch patient's medication in pursuit of profit. In 2005, Medco Health Solutions agreed to pay the United States $155 million plus interest to settle allegations that it defrauded the government.[5][6] There was no admission of guilt or finding of wrongdoing in either settlement.


In 2005 Medco acquired Accredo Health for $2.2 billion,[7] a large specialty pharmaceutical operation, including a division that Accredo Health purchased from Gentiva Health Services in 2002.

In 2007, Medco acquired diabetes care leader Liberty Medical Supply, Inc., creating a leading provider of diabetes care services with approximately 4 million patients under treatment.[8]

In 2009, Medco established the Medco Research Institute – an evidence-based research organization

In 2010, Medco acquired DNA Direct, a leader in providing guidance and decision support to payors, physicians and patients on a range of complex issues related to genomic medicine.[9]

Medco became a leader in post–market approval, Phase IV clinical safety and health economics and outcome research with the September 2010 acquisition of United BioSource Corporation (UBC). UBC serves life sciences industry clients and is focused on developing scientific evidence to guide the safe, effective and affordable use of medicines. UBC has the capability to conduct post-approval research worldwide, including North America, Europe and Asia.[10]

In March 2008, Medco launched a collaboration with Sweden's (then) government-operated retail pharmacy authority, Apoteket, to develop and deliver the first automated electronic prescription review system to improve clinical and financial outcomes for Swedish patients and the country's healthcare system.[citation needed]

In April 2008, Medco acquired a majority interest in Europa Apotheek, a privately held company based in the Netherlands that primarily provides mail-order and specialty pharmacy services in Germany. In December 2009, Europa Apotheek Venlo acquired - one of Germany's online OTC and healthcare product sites.

In August 2009, Medco formed a joint venture with United Drug plc, a pan-European healthcare leader, to provide home-based pharmacy care services in the United Kingdom for patients covered by the country's National Health Service.

Medco International, based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, healthcare solutions focused on enhancing the quality of care for patients with chronic and complex conditions, improving therapeutic outcomes and helping to ease the growing financial burden on payors.[citation needed] Established in 2010, the company is building a market presence across Europe beginning with Germany, UK, France and The Netherlands. Medco International provides innovative, integrated clinical solutions designed to improve patient adherence, integrate care across multiple practitioners, enhance safety and deliver greater value across the entire healthcare system.[citation needed]

In April 2012, Medco Health Solutions was acquired by Express Scripts.[11]


Medco Pharmacy operated 10 mail-order pharmacies and partners with a nationwide network of approximately 60,000 retail pharmacies. Medco's automated pharmacies were located in Las Vegas, Indianapolis, and Willingboro, NJ, and together had the capacity to fill more than 3 million prescriptions per week.

Medco's mail-order business generated $26 billion in 2011 net revenues and was one of the largest pharmacy operations in the United States. In 2011, 113 million of the 757.7 million prescriptions Medco filled were processed through its mail-order pharmacies. In 2011, nearly 10.5 million of the new prescriptions Medco managed were ePrescriptions.

Medco held 42 U.S. patents for patient data management, front-end pharmacy technology and automated pharmacy technology, and 56 international patents for automated pharmacy-dispensing technology.


  1. ^ "Merck-Medco and the American College of Gastroenterology Join Forces to Improve Care for Digestive Health Condition Sufferers". Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  2. ^ "UnitedHealth Group, Merck-Medco and Accenture Join Forces To Create Business Accelerator For Health Industry". Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  3. ^ "Company gives $5,000 for pharmacy scholarship". 28 August 2005. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  4. ^ "CalPERS Board Selects Medco as Finalist to Provide Pharmacy Benefit Program". Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Medco Settles Fraud, Kickback Charges for $155 Million". 2006-10-24. Retrieved 2015-08-12.
  7. ^ [2][dead link]
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2015-08-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2015-08-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-01-20. Retrieved 2015-08-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions Complete Merger; Will Address National Mandate for More Affordable, Higher Quality Healthcare" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-14. Retrieved 2015-08-12.

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