NEW YORK (AP) — Express Scripts Inc., one of the largest pharmacy benefits managers in the U.S., spent $490,000 in the first quarter as it lobbied the federal government on a host of health care issues.

The St. Louis company said its interests included health care reform proposal that affect the Medicare Part D drug benefit, legislation intended to exempt health care providers from antitrust laws for purposes of negotiation with payers, like plan sponsors or insurers, the approval mechanism for generic versions of biotech drugs, and a $3 billion-per-year benefits contract with the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program. That benefit is handled by competitor CVS Caremark Corp.

Express Scripts, which handles the drug benefit for the military's TriCare health plan, also lobbied on the fiscal 2012 defense budget.

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