Arbitrator denies request from Walgreen, Express Scripts for injunctive relief

DEERFIELD, Ill. ― An arbitrator denied a request from Walgreen Co and Express Scripts Inc seeking injunctive relief in their dispute, Walgreen said on Wednesday.

In June, Walgreen said it would stop filling prescriptions covered by Express Scripts at the end of the year after failing to agree on contract terms.

Express Scripts accused Walgreen of publishing false marketing materials designed to encourage Medicare recipients to leave health plans with coverage through Express Scripts.

The ruling was issued on Sunday evening, Walgreen said. The arbitrator will consider underlying merits of both parties’ claims at a future date, the largest U.S. drugstore chain said.

Express Scripts, which manages prescription drug benefits for employers and other clients, said it would not comment on the ruling.

Separately, an Oct. 18 entry in the court’s online system showed that an initial status hearing in the case is set before Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez on Nov. 3.