Cigna CEO David Cordani on Carl Icahn opposing Express Scripts deal

Cigna CEO David Cordani told CNBC on Wednesday he can be “disappointed” activist investor Carl Icahn aired his concerns about the health insurer’s acquisition of Express Scripts in an open letter instead of sharing them with Cigna.

Icahn published a searing letter Tuesday opposing Cigna’s $54 billion acquisition of pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts. Titled “Cigna’s $60 billion folly,” Icahn said buying the company “may well become one of the worst blunders in corporate history.”

“We’re disappointed which he chose which, his means of communication was an open letter,” Cordani told CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street.” “There’s been no inbound [communication] to our corporation.”

Cigna says This particular as well as also Express Scripts are complementary businesses which when combined can improve care for patients as well as also lower health-care costs. Icahn argues looming regulatory risk combined with the possibility of Amazon disrupting the industry pose “existential threats to the PBM business design.”

Pharmacy benefit managers control which drugs are covered as well as also negotiate discounts, known as rebates, on branded drugs with manufacturers. They’re a favorite target of drugmakers, who say these middlemen want higher drug prices so they can squeeze higher profits by rebates.

The Trump administration has vowed to re-examine This particular system. President Donald Trump spent a large chunk of his speech announcing his blueprint to lower drug prices attacking middlemen, who he said “won’t be so rich anymore.” Pfizer CEO Ian Read last week told Wall Street analysts he believes the Trump administration may eliminate rebates altogether.

Amazon does not currently operate within the prescription drug benefit space, though earlier This particular year This particular said This particular would certainly acquire online pharmacy start-up PillPack.

“As This particular relates to Amazon, This particular’s another example of change as well as also evolution,” Cordani said. “They’re entering the mail order pharmaceutical fulfillment. We see which action, obviously we anticipated which action. The clinical integration, we think, can be the point of differentiation.”

Rival health insurer Aetna can be within the process of being acquired by CVS Health. The roughly $69 billion deal would certainly create a health-care powerhouse, combining insurance, prescription drug benefits as well as also drugstores. Shareholders by both companies have already approved the deal, as well as also CVS said Wednesday This particular expects This particular to close within the late third quarter or early fourth quarter.

“We’re committed to This particular truly attractive strategic as well as also financial combination,” Cordani said.

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