Driving Drug Savings Through Formularies

Industry-leading formularies = greater value

How we build well-designed formularies

Express Scripts builds formularies, or lists of covered medications, to provide clients with the most clinically sound, high-quality pharmaceutical products, which are updated as new medications come to market. Our clients can select a formulary that is most appropriate for their unique member needs, customize any formulary or develop their own. Express Scripts’ formulary development process is based on three principles:


Clinical appropriateness, safety and effectiveness of the drug — not cost — are the foremost considerations.


The prescribing physician always makes the final decision regarding their patient’s drug therapy.


Express Scripts develops clinically-sound formularies based on evaluations of independent physicians.

Every drug is given one of four designations, which will result in placement on or exclusion from Express Scripts formularies: 

1. Include

Recommended for inclusion on all Express Scripts National Formularies.

2. Optional

Formulary recommendations should be based on a value assessment by Express Scripts.

3. Exclude

Drugs in this category should not be added.

4. Access

Recommended for conditions where there is only one drug available – typically this includes a relatively small number of patients.

A look at key Express Scripts formularies