Complete SWOT Analysis Of Express Scripts – A Pharmacy Benefit Management Organisation

Updated on: Mar 12, 2022

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In one of our previous blogs, we saw a detailed SWOT analysis of one of India’s biggest medicine delivery platforms Pharmeasy. Here we’ll have a detailed SWOT analysis of Express Scripts.

Express Scripts offers integrated pharmacy management services around the world. They’ve been really good and getting better at providing these pharmacy services to make people’s lives a little easier.

Their marketing strategy across years has helped them gain the confidence to get into a lot of new businesses related to pharmacy management. Going digital benefits a lot. If you want to get that benefit –  check out our Free MasterClass on Digital Marketing 101 by the CEO and Founder of IIDE, Karan Shah.

In this blog, we are gonna explore the SWOT Analysis of Express Scripts and know how they got one of the USA’s biggest pharmacy management, but before that let us know a little about the company’s history, products, services, and financial success.

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About Express Scripts,

SWOT Analysis of Express Scripts - Express Scripts

Express Scripts is one of the best pharmacy benefit management services companies that was founded in and is headquartered in St. Louis County, Missouri, in 1986. The corporation procedures pharmaceutical claims for contributors via a network of retail pharmacies. Its automated pharmacies dispense medications for chronic long-term diseases, which include diabetes or heart disease, at once to individuals by home shipping.

Express Scripts sees 1.4 billion prescriptions a year, and it makes use of these employees for records as part of its studies statistics to create higher solutions. In 1986, a joint venture between a retail chain of more than 79 pharmacies – Medicare Glaser Inc. and Sanus Corp Health Systems launched Express Scripts in St. Louis County, Missouri.

Express Scripts presents included pharmacy advantage management offerings inclusive of community-pharmacy claims processing; home delivery pharmacy offerings; area of expertise pharmacy benefit management.


Quick Stats on Express Scripts
Founder Morris Glaser
Year Founded 1986
Origin St. Louis county, Missouri
No. of Employees 26,000+
Company Type Public
Market Cap US$53.6 Billion (2019)
Annual Revenue US$100.06 Billion Approx.
Net Income/ Profit US$4.532 Billion Approx.


Products & Services by Express Scripts

Express scripts have been in the business for the last 35 years, with the following services it offers:

  • Prescription Benefit Management
  • Specialty Prescription Management
  • Speciality pharmacy benefit management
  • Home delivery pharmacy services
  • Medical and drug data analysis services
  • Formulary management
  • Drug-utilisation review

Competitors of Express Scripts 

Express Scripts operates in the whole USA and has some worthy competitors. In 2017, they were the largest pharmacy benefit management company in the whole of the United States  Below are the top 4 competitors of Express Scripts:

  •  CVS Caremark
  •  Catamaran Corporation
  •  Prime Therapeutics

Now that we understand the company’s core business, let’s delve into the SWOT analysis of Express Scripts.

SWOT Analysis of Express Scripts

A SWOT analysis determines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of a company. It is a proven management paradigm that allows Express Scripts to benchmark its business and performance against that of its competitors and the industry as a whole.

This is a great tool for identifying where the business is doing well, where it is failing, developing countermeasures, and determining how the business can grow.

To better understand the SWOT Analysis of Express Scripts, refer to the infographics image below

SWOT Analysis of Express Scripts - SWOT Infographics of Express Scripts

Now first let’s begin with the strengths of the company from the SWOT analysis of Express Scripts.

Strengths of Express Scripts

  • Strong Brand Equity: Express scripts have been working in the pharmacy benefit management industry for the last 35 years and have been performing well to create a distinct brand image in the eyes of people.
  • Focus on Social Schemes: Express Scripts has long been a supporter of global health plans typically including medical, member engagement, improving health & wellness services. With a variety of world-class services, it leads the industry in health protection and wellness plans.
  • Highly Skilled Workforce: Successful training and learning programmes have resulted in a highly competent workforce. They are not just highly skilled but also driven to achieve greater success.
  • Financial Position: Express Scripts has a very strong financial position in the market with consecutive profits over the years along with accumulated profit reserves which can be utilised for future expenditures or marketing activities.
  • High Level of Customer Satisfaction: Express Scripts has gained the trust of more than 100 million clients and has a very strong customer relationship management team through which they keep their current customers very satisfied and also enjoy a good brand equity status among potential customers.

SWOT Analysis of Express Scripts - Cigna & Express Scripts Logo

  • Parent Company: Express Scripts is the subsidiary of one of the biggest health insurance companies in the United States – Cigna. With the support of such a strong parent company, Express Scripts is able to get company recognition and financial support.
  • Number of Acquisitions: Express Scripts is always ahead of its competitors in terms of acquisitions and mergers including the acquisition of Medco Health Solutions in 2012 and a three-year partnership with Prime Therapeutics. Such acquisitions and partnerships give Express Scripts a strong holding in the market.  

Weaknesses of Express Scripts

Weaknesses are the areas Express Scripts can work upon. Some of Express Scripts’ weaknesses are 

  • Customer Service: Given it is the largest pharmacy benefit management company it is only natural to have so many customers and in some areas, the company fails to provide customer satisfaction.
  • Research & Development: Express Scripts has a good share of expenditure on the research and development department but it is spending way less than a few of the players within the industry which have benefitted as a result of their innovative products.
  • Diversity in the Workforce: The local workers contribute to the majority of the workforce at Express Scripts making it difficult for outsiders to adjust and hence resulting in the loss of talent.
  • Loss of Major Clients: In October 2017, Express Scripts lost its biggest client, Anthem. Also, the largest healthcare company in the United States – CVS has also tried to acquire Express Scripts in a $67 billion deal in 2018.

Opportunities for Express Scripts

Opportunities are uncontrollable external circumstances that a person may be able to take advantage of. These external factors could give the company an advantage in the marketplace. Opportunities for Express Scripts are

  • Enter Global Market: Entering into the global market can be one of the best decisions they can make because their pharmacy benefit management system can be used on a global level to expand. They have the experience to dominate the global market as they’ve been doing in the domestic market one. 
  • Future Trends: The next 10 years will see the pharmacy industry moving from traditional to more customer-centric products. In the post-pandemic era, due to personalised services, the products are given based on information collected from external sources and devices.
  • Shift From Protection To Prevention: There is a general trend toward risk prevention rather than risk mitigation, which indicates that health companies should concentrate on risk prevention rather than risk mitigation.
  • COVID-19 Aid: With covid-19 weakening people’s immune and financial health, they are becoming prone to all other diseases as well and Express Scripts can curate specific health plans for them. 
  • New Clients: Collaborate with more telemedicine providers and expand the health care network for people from the comfort of their homes.

Threats to Express Scripts

Threats are those factors that have the potential to provide harm to the organisation in any form. The threats of Express Scripts are as follows:

  • Gig Economy: Most organised companies across the world offer group health plans. Various online-based and reputed companies like Fiverr, Amazon Mechanical Turk, and others have entered the ‘freelancer’ population who work without any formal company allegiance. This has resulted in an enormous loss for healthcare companies.
  • Competition: Since healthcare was privatised, Express Scripts has lost its lustre and now confronts intense competition from private healthcare businesses that have given the industry a new lease on life.
  • Changes in Government: Because fiscal and monetary factors vary with each new government, tactics must be altered correspondingly. This results in a slew of issues.
  • Controversy: Express Scripts has been in some of the major controversies including a lawsuit against Express Scripts by Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, information breach in St. Louis, Rockford lawsuit and several reimbursements. Allegations and controversies have reduced the reputation of Express Scripts in the market.   

This ends our complete SWOT analysis of Express Scripts. Let us conclude our learning below.

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To Conclude

Express Scripts is a well-known pharmacy management services company and is working for a long time in the US market and has its roots over there. Their experience is their advantage and they can use it in their favour. They have shown immense growth in the field and are trying to do so in the future. 

Also, one point not to miss out on is that Express Scripts is in line with its marketing effort. It has created a customer base for itself by tapping into the digital era and creating a social media presence on several platforms. If you are interested in learning digital marketing, don’t forget to check out IIDE’s 3 Month Advanced Digital Marketing Course.

We hope this blog on the SWOT Analysis of Express Scripts has given you a good insight into the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. 

If you enjoy in-depth company research just like the SWOT analysis of Express Scripts, check out our IIDE Knowledge portal for more fascinating case studies.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and do share your thoughts on this case study of the SWOT analysis of Express Scripts in the comments section below.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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