Latest expansion at Express Scripts could mean 1,500 more jobs in St. Louis

The nation's largest company that manages pharmacy benefits is opening a new office building in St. Louis County as part of an expansion, which is expected to add 1,500 jobs over the next five years.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon helped Express Scripts mark the $56 million expansion project at a ceremony on Monday. The company received nearly $7 million in tax incentives and could be eligible for nearly $25 million more if all 1,500 jobs are created.

The project adds 11,500 square feet to the company's current technology and innovation center near the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus, bringing the company's total in St. Louis to more than one million square feet.

"Together with our state's pro-business climate and skilled workforce, the company's expansion in Missouri will help pave the way for additional growth and job creation in the St. Louis area and beyond," Nixon said.

The company, founded in 1986, provides pharmacy benefits for more than 85 million Americans, processing more than 1 billion prescriptions annually.

"Express Scripts is a company that is proud to be born and raised in Missouri and we look forward to continuing our growth here," said George Paz, chairman and chief executive officer.

Express Scripts had about 4,600 employees as of the end of 2013. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that an economic impact study conducted by UMSL professor Ed Lawrence found that Express Scripts generated $3.8 billion in direct economic impact in Missouri from 2006 to 2013.