Express Scripts’ PR Nightmare (ESRX)

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Express Scripts Inc. (NASDAQ:ESRX) is about to have one massive PR nightmare in its hands.  The pharmacy benefit management manager announced that it has received a letter from an unknown person or persons trying to extort money from the company.  The letter threatened to expose millions of Express Scripts patient records.

The company said that the letter included personal information of 75members including their names, dates of birth, social securitynumbers, and in some cases, their prescription information.

It has notified the affected members and the FBI, which isinvestigating the crime. Express Scripts is also conducting its owninvestigation with the help of outside experts in data security andcomputer forensics. The letter arrived in early October.

This is not the sort of PR issue a company wants to deal with.  Imaginethe whole world being able to access your social security number, oreven worse: your list of drug medications.

Shares are down 6% at $57.80 and its 52-week trading range is $48.37 to $79.10.

Jon C. Ogg
November 6, 2008