Express Scripts explains pharmacist layoffs

May 16, 2014

Due in part to the loss of its UnitedHealth Group business more than two years ago, Express Scripts is laying off pharmacists and other personnel nationwide.

Due in part to the loss of its UnitedHealth Group business more than two years ago, Express Scripts is laying off pharmacists and other personnel nationwide.

“Consistent with our expectations, our claims volume is lower than last year, due in large part to the exit of the UnitedHealth Group business,” David Whitrap, director of corporate communications for Express Scripts, told Drug Topics. In fact, the company reported revenue of $23.69 billion for the three months ended March 31, 2014, a 9% decrease from $26.02 billion in last year’s period.

“Over these past two years, we have thoughtfully evaluated what our operational footprint should be going forward. As a result, we are rebalancing our facilities and resources to more efficiently meet the needs of our clients and patients,” Whitrap said.

To that end, Express Scripts is reducing workforce throughout 2014 and into 2015. As previously reported by Drug Topics, Express Scripts is laying off nearly 1,900 employees nationwide this year. That includes cuts of 580 personnel in Texas, 390 in Florida, 370 in Nevada, and 290 in Ohio. Plus, Express Scripts is seeking a voluntary reduction of 260 employees.

“When complete, we anticipate that the total reduction in workforce will be approximately 1,890 employees, spanning multiple job functions at these locations (e.g., pharmacy techs, pharmacists, back-office personnel, etc.),” Whitrap said.

 

Express Scripts also plans to close two facilities and transition workforce in North Versailles, Penn., to a new facility in nearby North Huntingdon, Penn. It will transition its workforce in Willingboro, N.J., to a new facility in nearby Florence, N.J.

In addition, the company plans to repurpose its Spokane, Wash., facility, to focus on prescription drug coverage review, Whitrap confirmed.

“The decisions made are difficult ones, and we have been thoughtful and deliberate. We will treat all affected employees fairly and with respect,” Whitrap said. To that end, if positions become available in other areas and at other facilities, Express Scripts is encouraging qualified employees to apply, “as we recognize the value their institutional knowledge can bring to another team,” Whitrap said.