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Skyrocketing Cancer Drug Prices Are Express Scripts’ Target

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Express Scripts Holding Co., which this year forced price concessions from makers of $1,000-a-day hepatitis C medicines, has set its sights on $37 billion in U.S. spending on cancer medications. Its goal is to start influencing the drugs’ costs as soon as next year.

Express Scripts is the country’s biggest manager of prescription drug benefits. However, its reach doesn’t extend to many injected or infused cancer drugs administered in doctors’ offices and hospitals, not dispensed in retail pharmacies. The St. Louis-based company’s ambition is to change that, including eventually for new drugs that trigger the body’s own immune system to attack tumors and can cost $150,000.