Content about Pharmacy Benefit Management

December 14, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday challenged some of Express Scripts' and Medco's testimony during last week's hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, most notably that PBMs are subject to state regulation in all states and that as a PBM the two companies have no influence on the design of prescription drug benefits.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday challenged some of Express Scripts' and Medco's testimony during last week's hearing before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, most notably that PBMs are subject to state regulation in all states and that as a PBM the two companies have no influence on the design of prescription drug benefits.

December 9, 2011

The longer this proposed Express Scripts-Medco deal remains under the microscope, the more people don't seem to like what they see. The general tone at this Senate hearing was against the merger.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — The longer this proposed Express Scripts-Medco deal remains under the microscope, the more people don't seem to like what they see. The general tone at this Senate hearing was against the merger. Many of the senators in attendance were expressing concern that the proposed merger would negatively impact access to pharmacy, which is perhaps the greatest import of the possibility of an Express Scripts-Medco super-PBM.

December 8, 2011

Supermarket chain Schnucks is hoping to benefit from the spat between Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Supermarket chain Schnucks is hoping to benefit from the spat between Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, according to published reports.

December 2, 2011

As of January 2012, Chinese Community Health Plan will transition to a new pharmacy benefits management company, Navitus Health Solutions, from Express Scripts to provide its members with continued access to Walgreens pharmacies, the health plan subsidiary of Chinese Hospital in San Francisco announced Friday.

SAN FRANCISCO — As of January 2012, Chinese Community Health Plan will transition to a new pharmacy benefits management company, Navitus Health Solutions, from Express Scripts to provide its members with continued access to Walgreens pharmacies, the health plan subsidiary of Chinese Hospital in San Francisco announced Friday.

According to the health plan, the move was made to maintain access to those Walgreens pharmacies. "In San Francisco, Walgreens is a leading pharmacy provider and operates the only 24-hour pharmacies in the city," the company stated.

December 1, 2011

CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of Randy Falkenrath as SVP specialty pharmacy, with responsibility for the ongoing development of clinical programs and product management to support the company's specialty pharmacy business.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of Randy Falkenrath as SVP specialty pharmacy, with responsibility for the ongoing development of clinical programs and product management to support the company's specialty pharmacy business.

December 1, 2011

Pfizer's efforts to protect the sales of its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor have attracted scrutiny from members of Congress, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — Pfizer's efforts to protect the sales of its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor have attracted scrutiny from members of Congress, according to published reports.

The New York Times reported Thursday that three senators — Max Baucus, D-Mont.; Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa; and Herb Kohl, D-Wis. — had asked Pfizer and five other companies to provide details of their agreements to prevent dispensing of generic versions of Lipitor (atorvastatin) and dispense only the branded version.

November 28, 2011

The merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions "could bring an end to community-based pharmacies and the convenient services provided there," according to the Pennsylvania Pharmacy Council.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — The merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions "could bring an end to community-based pharmacies and the convenient services provided there," according to the Pennsylvania Pharmacy Council.

November 17, 2011

Pharmacy benefit manager SXC Health Solutions is buying PBM service company HealthTrans for $250 million, SXC said Thursday.

LISLE, Ill. — Pharmacy benefit manager SXC Health Solutions is buying PBM service company HealthTrans for $250 million, SXC said Thursday.

Based in Colorado with additional offices in Illinois, Florida and Georgia, HealthTrans provides PBM and healthcare information technology services to about 260 clients, and its PBM business includes a suite of PBM offerings, such as nationwide retail network, formulary and rebate management, Medicare Part D services and mail order.

November 16, 2011

When its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor loses patent protection this month, Pfizer is hoping that pharmacy benefit managers will not dispense a generic version of the drug to its customers, according to published reports.

NEW YORK — When its blockbuster cholesterol drug Lipitor loses patent protection this month, Pfizer is hoping that pharmacy benefit managers will not dispense a generic version of the drug to its customers, according to published reports.

Pharmacy benefit managers Medco and Catalyst have agreed to block generic versions of Lipitor from reaching their customers until the end of May 2012, according to Bloomberg. Additionally, the company reportedly is in talks with Express Scripts to have the PBM also block generic versions from reaching customers as well.

November 16, 2011

Walgreens took to the road the week before Thanksgiving to talk turkey with analysts on why Walgreens is a good bet going into 2012, even if the pharmacy won't be participating in the Express Scripts pharmacy network this coming year.

NEW YORK — Walgreens took to the road the week before Thanksgiving to talk turkey with analysts on why Walgreens is a good bet going into 2012, even if the pharmacy won't be participating in the Express Scripts pharmacy network this coming year.

November 14, 2011

Walgreens is running the ball straight down the middle of the field in its bid to mitigate any lost Express Scripts prescriptions once the retailer is removed from that benefit manager's pharmacy network at the end of the year — and that seems increasingly likely with each passing day.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — Walgreens is running the ball straight down the middle of the field in its bid to mitigate any lost Express Scripts prescriptions once the retailer is removed from that benefit manager's pharmacy network at the end of the year — and that seems increasingly likely with each passing day. And if Walgreens achieves 97% to 99% of its 2011 prescription volume of 819 million prescriptons next year, as the pharmacy retailer maintains, then it will be the Chicago-based Walgreens doing an end-zone shuffle of sorts by the end of next year.

November 14, 2011

Walgreens on Friday joined with three pharmacy benefit managers — Altius Health Plans, Coventry Health Care and HealthAmerica — for an awareness campaign to educate employers on the benefits of a pharmacy network that includes Walgreens.

BOISE, Idaho — Walgreens on Friday joined with three pharmacy benefit managers — Altius Health Plans, Coventry Health Care and HealthAmerica — for an awareness campaign to educate employers on the benefits of a pharmacy network that includes Walgreens.

November 3, 2011

CVS Caremark on Thursday reported solid third-quarter results — 2 cents above the high end of its guidance range — driven in large part by better-than-expected performance in its pharmacy benefit management, which is in the midst of a profit-improvement plan.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark on Thursday reported solid third-quarter results — 2 cents above the high end of its guidance range — driven in large part by better-than-expected performance in its pharmacy benefit management, which is in the midst of a profit-improvement plan.

November 3, 2011

At a press conference organized by the Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition at the Capitol on Thursday morning, the National Community Pharmacists Association's CEO Douglas Hoey issued a statement regarding the proposed merger of pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, saying the deal could mean "more wasteful mail-order spending and higher price spikes for specialty drugs."

WASHINGTON — At a press conference organized by the Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition at the Capitol on Thursday morning, the National Community Pharmacists Association's CEO Douglas Hoey issued a statement regarding the proposed merger of pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, saying the deal could mean "more wasteful mail-order spending and higher price spikes for specialty drugs."

November 1, 2011

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday touted the benefits community pharmacies can provide for health insurance exchanges once those exchange open in 2014 in a letter addressed to the Department of Health and Human Services.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday touted the benefits community pharmacies can provide for health insurance exchanges once those exchange open in 2014 in a letter addressed to the Department of Health and Human Services.

November 1, 2011

The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition will be traveling to the nation's capital on Thursday to urge Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to support patient care and oppose the planned merger between Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, the coalition announced Monday.

WASHINGTON — The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition will be traveling to the nation's capital on Thursday to urge Congress and the Federal Trade Commission to support patient care and oppose the planned merger between Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, the coalition announced Monday.

October 31, 2011

Catalyst Rx, the pharmacy benefits management subsidiary of Catalyst Health Solutions, on Friday took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal touting the value of a Walgreens pharmacy to a large healthcare payer. Catalyst also released a case study touting that value, according to a DrugChannels.net report.

ROCKVILLE, Md. — Catalyst Rx, the pharmacy benefits management subsidiary of Catalyst Health Solutions, on Friday took out a full-page ad in the Wall Street Journal touting the value of a Walgreens pharmacy to a large healthcare payer. Catalyst also released a case study touting that value, according to a DrugChannels.net report.

October 26, 2011

The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition, which is a coalition of consumers, businesses and community-based pharmacists from across the country that have come together to oppose the planned mega-merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, has issued a call to action to protect Americans from rising costs and decreased access to health care by stopping the planned merger of the PBMs.

WASHINGTON — The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition, which is a coalition of consumers, businesses and community-based pharmacists from across the country that have come together to oppose the planned mega-merger of Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, has issued a call to action to protect Americans from rising costs and decreased access to health care by stopping the planned merger of the PBMs.

October 24, 2011

A number of members of Congress have raised questions about the proposed merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, prompting a lobbying group that represents independent pharmacies and opposes the merger to highlight the matter.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A number of members of Congress have raised questions about the proposed merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, prompting a lobbying group that represents independent pharmacies and opposes the merger to highlight the matter.

October 19, 2011

The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition on Wednesday announced its opposition to the proposed merger between Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions.

WASHINGTON — The Preserve Community Pharmacy Access NOW! coalition on Wednesday announced its opposition to the proposed merger between Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions.

"The merger between two of these middlemen, which could go into effect as soon as early 2012, would create a mega-pharmacy benefit management company with excessive control over the health care of tens-of-millions of Americans. This would limit our access to and choice of pharmacies," the coalition stated.

October 11, 2011

At press time, the industry was weighing the potential merger of pharmacy benefit manager rivals Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, but executives at CVS Caremark remain more confident than ever that its PBM business is ideally positioned to “effectively compete."


At press time, the industry was weighing the potential merger of pharmacy benefit manager rivals Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, but executives at CVS Caremark remain more confident than ever that its PBM business is ideally positioned to “effectively compete,” regardless of what federal trade regulators decide for ESI-Medco. And there’s good reason why.


October 7, 2011

The feathers continued to fly last week. First, NACDS debuted a new print ad in the Washington Post, then news broke that half the states in the country are against the $29 billion ESI-Medco mega-merger.

If Express Scripts and Medco are right about the projected closing of what their opponents are calling the “mega-merger,” then we might be looking at dozens of more weeks of this.

(THE NEWS: NACDS urges consumers to prevent super-PBM 'stranglehold' on medicines. For the full story, click here)

October 4, 2011

The National Community Pharmacists Association is recommending several ways for reducing Medicare Part D fraud, waste and abuse to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee, the group said Tuesday.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association is recommending several ways for reducing Medicare Part D fraud, waste and abuse to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs subcommittee, the group said Tuesday.

September 29, 2011

A "vast majority" of employers don't know how much they're spending on specialty drugs through their medical or pharmacy plans, according to a new survey by the Midwest Business Group on Health.

CHICAGO — A "vast majority" of employers don't know how much they're spending on specialty drugs through their medical or pharmacy plans, according to a new survey by the Midwest Business Group on Health.

September 23, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has launched a new drive-time radio advertisement in the Washington, D.C., market to warn of the potential consequences of the proposed merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has launched a new drive-time radio advertisement in the Washington, D.C., market to warn of the potential consequences of the proposed merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco.