The Federal Trade Commission approved the $29.1 billion merger between Express Scripts and Medco.
The deal will create the largest pharmacy benefit management company in the United States. In a statement, the FTC called the approval a tough decision, but said its eight-month investigation revealed that the deal would not lessen competition in the prescription benefit business. The FTC also declined to put any conditions on the merger.
Express Scripts chief medical officer Steven Miller says neither move surprised him.
“Every time we have done an acquisition," Miller said, "we have been able to drive waste out of the system and get those savings to flow all the way back to patients and their employers.”
The deal is expected to generate a billion dollars in savings for the new company, which will be headquartered in St. Louis. Opponents of the merger say they’ll continue to fight it in court.