Express-Scripts announced last week that it will be ending its relationship with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), becoming the first major Missouri corporation to do so this year.
This is especially notable because Express Scripts sponsored a "Missouri Night" for state legislators at the ALEC conference in New Orleans last year, and was a confirmed sponsor for a similar event scheduled for July 27 at this year's junket to Salt Lake City. Documentation of Express Scripts' sponsorship is available upon request.
It’s been a true stampede – as you may know, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, MillerCoors, Yum! Brands, Wal-Mart, Johnson & Johnson, Amazon.com and twenty other corporations have all cut ties to the organization in recent months.
The more the people learn about ALEC, the more they wonder why their elected leaders and the corporations they support would be associated with such an extreme organization. For more on ALEC's extraordinary and secretive influence in Jefferson City -- including the almost 50 legislators with direct ties to the group -- please see Progress Missouri’s report at http://www.progressmissouri.org/alec
Express-Scripts is Twenty-Sixth Corporation to Dump ALEC
July 13, 2012 - 2:25pm
Pharmacy benefits manager Express-Scripts told the Center for Media and Democracy today that it has ended its membership in the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), making it the twenty-sixth business to dump ALEC in recent months.
Express-Scripts' head of corporate communications David Whitrap confirmed to CMD that the corporation has dropped its ALEC membership but did not provide a reason. The St. Louis, Missouri-based Express-Scripts had been a member of ALEC and its Health and Human Services Task Force since at least 2010 . At the 2011 ALEC Annual Meeting, Express-Scripts sponsored the "Missouri Night" party for legislators from the state at Antoine's Restaurant in New Orleans.
On Tuesday, Color of Change announced that Express-Scripts competitor CVS would be dropping its ALEC membership, along with four other companies . CVS and Express-Scripts are the country's largest pharmacy benefits managers, handling prescription benefits for employers and health plans and using their clout to negotiate discounts from drug makers. After Walgreens terminated a contract with Express-Scripts, many customers were reportedly diverted from Express-Scripts to CVS, tightening competition between the two companies.
Walgreens' move to terminate its contract with Express-Scripts was denounced by civil rights leaders like Al Sharpton, as it would increase prescription drug costs for low-income individuals whose only neighborhood pharmacy is Walgreens, but whose health care plans use Express-Scripts. Walgreens remains an ALEC member and is a member of the ALEC Health and Human Services Task Force.
Express Scripts is the 26th corporation to leave ALEC in recent months. The corporate "bill mill" has come under increasing scrutiny in recent months as the public has become aware of its role in advancing the "Stand Your Ground" law initially cited to protect Trayvon Martin's killer, as well as voter suppression bills, union-busting policies, and other controversial legislation. A full list of corporations that have dropped their ALEC memberships can be viewed here.