Content about Pharmacy Benefit Management

September 20, 2011

One day after the National Association of Chain Drug Stores launched a radio ad in the Washington, D.C., market that warned of the potential consequences of the merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco, the PBMs have debuted their own ad, which seeks to highlight the benefits of the deal.

WASHINGTON — One day after the National Association of Chain Drug Stores launched a radio ad in the Washington, D.C., market that warned of the potential consequences of the merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco, the PBMs have debuted their own ad, which seeks to highlight the benefits of the deal.

September 19, 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.

(Listen to the radio ad here)

September 15, 2011

Walgreens on Thursday morning argued for its motion to stay an Express Scripts suit filed against the Chicago-based pharmacy on Sept. 7, pending arbitration.

CHICAGO — Walgreens on Thursday morning argued for its motion to stay an Express Scripts suit filed against the Chicago-based pharmacy on Sept. 7, pending arbitration.

In its lawsuit, Express Scripts contends that Walgreens is actively recruiting patients and seeks immediate relief from Walgreens' informing patients that the company's 7,760 stores will not be part of the Express Scripts pharmacy network at the top of the year.

September 14, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday sent letters to U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., applauding their sponsorship of companion legislation that seeks to preserve pharmacy choice for patients.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores on Wednesday sent letters to U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., and U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., applauding their sponsorship of companion legislation that seeks to preserve pharmacy choice for patients.

September 9, 2011

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is calling on Congress to scrutinize the proposed merger of pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco and, in a letter submitted Friday to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, outlined the “problems” it believes would result from the mega-merger.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is calling on Congress to scrutinize the proposed merger of pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco and, in a letter submitted Friday to the House of Representatives Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, outlined the “problems” it believes would result from the mega-merger.

The House panel held a hearing Friday titled “Health Care Industry Consolidation.”

September 9, 2011

Lawmakers should oppose the proposed mega-merger of pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, the National Community Pharmacists Association again told Congress members during a House subcommittee hearing held Friday.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Lawmakers should oppose the proposed mega-merger of pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, the National Community Pharmacists Association again told Congress members during a House subcommittee hearing held Friday.

September 8, 2011

Bills proposed in Pennsylvania's state legislature would allow patients to have their prescriptions filled through mail-order and at community pharmacies for the same price.

PHILADELPHIA — Bills proposed in Pennsylvania's state legislature would allow patients to have their prescriptions filled through mail-order and at community pharmacies for the same price.

House Bill 511 and Senate Bill 211, which promoters said are designed to give a "booster shot" to local pharmacies and save jobs, are the latest episode in what appears to be a growing battle between pharmacy benefit managers and retail pharmacies.

September 6, 2011

The proposed merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions hit a speed bump Friday as the Federal Trade Commission requested additional information, indicating that the agency has raised antitrust concerns.

NEW YORK — The proposed merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions hit a speed bump Friday as the Federal Trade Commission requested additional information, indicating that the deal has raised antitrust concerns among regulators.

September 6, 2011

Walgreens on Tuesday filed a document with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission titled "The Value of Walgreens" that specifically outlined what Walgreens can bring to an employer, exclusive of any relationship with a pharmacy benefit manager, such as Express Scripts.

CHICAGO — Walgreens on Tuesday filed a document with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission titled "The Value of Walgreens" that specifically outlined what Walgreens can bring to an employer, exclusive of any relationship with a pharmacy benefit manager, such as Express Scripts. Specifically regarding its negotiations with Express Scripts, Walgreens stated: "Negotiations remain at an impasse, and Walgreens has begun informing patients that we will not be part of the Express Scripts network as of January 1, 2012."

August 22, 2011

The Independent Specialty Pharmacy Coalition is urging the Federal Trade Commission to look into the pending merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, the ISPC said Monday.

WASHINGTON — The Independent Specialty Pharmacy Coalition is urging the Federal Trade Commission to look into the pending merger between pharmacy benefit managers Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, the ISPC said Monday.

August 15, 2011

This isn't just about mail order in New York state. This is about the future of the pharmacy benefit management market and what payers are more likely to spend their money on.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT’S IMPORTANT — This isn't just about mail order in New York state. This is about the future of the pharmacy benefit management market and what payers are more likely to spend their money on. It's about choice. And because of that, this is just another story in what has been a very busy news cycle on the PBM front, driven primarily by the anti-mandatory mail-order bill battle in New York, reactions to two contradictory studies on patients regarding mail order and adherence, and continued challenges to the proposed ESI-Medco merger.

August 12, 2011

The Chain Drug Consortium on Thursday dispensed a formal letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission expressing its opposition to the proposed merger of pharmacy benefit management companies Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions.

BOCA RATON, Fla. — The Chain Drug Consortium on Thursday dispensed a formal letter to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission expressing its opposition to the proposed merger of pharmacy benefit management companies Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions.

August 9, 2011

A bill awaiting a signature or veto from New York governor Andrew Cuomo that would restrict home delivery of chronic medications has attracted criticism from the Federal Trade Commission and the pharmacy benefit manager lobby.

WASHINGTON — A bill awaiting a signature or veto from New York governor Andrew Cuomo that would restrict home delivery of chronic medications has attracted criticism from the Federal Trade Commission and the pharmacy benefit manager lobby.

In a letter to New York state Sen. James Seward responding to the senator's request for comments, the FTC said New York Assembly Bill 5502-B would harm consumers and raise the prices of drugs while reducing access to them.

August 9, 2011

The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday issued a number of recommendations to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which is responsible for contracting with at least two multistate plans that will offer coverage through exchanges that come online in 2014, and that will provide consumers with additional health insurance options.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Monday issued a number of recommendations to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, which is responsible for contracting with at least two multistate plans that will offer coverage through exchanges that come online in 2014, and that will provide consumers with additional health insurance options.

August 5, 2011

Medicare Part D prescription drug plan premiums will cost beneficiaries roughly $30 in 2012, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

WASHINGTON — Medicare Part D prescription drug plan premiums will cost beneficiaries roughly $30 in 2012, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, a trade group representing pharmacy benefit managers, heralded the figure, saying it confirmed the success of Medicare Part D plans in delivering savings.

August 4, 2011

CVS Caremark posted second-quarter results that were at the high end of its guidance and narrowed its 2011 outlook on continued confidence. But it was the pharmacy benefit management business — and the potential merger of PBM rivals Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions — that was top of mind for many industry observers, and was a topic that CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo hit head-on at the start of Thursday morning’s conference call.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark posted second-quarter results that were at the high end of its guidance and narrowed its 2011 outlook on continued confidence. But it was the pharmacy benefit management business — and the potential merger of PBM rivals Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions — that was top of mind for many industry observers, and was a topic that CVS Caremark president and CEO Larry Merlo hit head-on at the start of Thursday morning’s conference call.

August 3, 2011

A survey of 1,850 members of the National Community Pharmacists Association released Wednesday has identified two rising problems: 1) pharmacy audits often punish pharmacies severely for trivial issues and 2) because pharmacies are not privy to basic reimbursement methodology prior to signing contracts with health plans, reimbursements are "both lowered arbitrarily and raised belatedly in response to generic drug cost increases."

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A survey of 1,850 members of the National Community Pharmacists Association released Wednesday has identified two rising problems: 1) pharmacy audits often punish pharmacies severely for trivial issues and 2) because pharmacies are not privy to basic reimbursement methodology prior to signing contracts with health plans, reimbursements are "both lowered arbitrarily and raised belatedly in response to generic drug cost increases."

August 1, 2011

The ink has barely dried on the acquisition agreement between pharmacy benefit management giants Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, but several groups already are seeing smudges — most recently, a trade organization representing independent specialty pharmacy providers.

WASHINGTON — The ink has barely dried on the acquisition agreement between pharmacy benefit management giants Express Scripts and Medco Health Solutions, but several groups already are seeing smudges — most recently, a trade organization representing independent specialty pharmacy providers.

July 29, 2011

Pharmacy benefit management tools helped slow prescription drug spending growth from 5.3% in 2009 to 3.5% in 2010, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

WASHINGTON — Pharmacy benefit management tools helped slow prescription drug spending growth from 5.3% in 2009 to 3.5% in 2010, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

One PBM tool that helped was tiered co-pays that shifted medication use toward lower-cost generic drugs.

July 21, 2011

Two of the country’s largest pharmacy benefit managers plan to merge in a deal worth $29.1 billion.

ST. LOUIS — Two of the country’s largest pharmacy benefit managers plan to merge in a deal worth $29.1 billion.

St. Louis-based Express Scripts and Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based Medco Health Solutions announced Thursday that their boards had voted unanimously to approve the merger, though the deal still is subject to regulatory review. The deal would create the country’s largest PBM, followed by CVS Caremark.

July 21, 2011

The merger agreement between Medco Health Solutions and Express Scripts announced Thursday has drawn objections from retail pharmacy trade groups.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The merger agreement between Medco Health Solutions and Express Scripts announced Thursday has drawn objections from retail pharmacy trade groups.

In a joint statement on Thursday, National Community Pharmacists Association EVP and CEO Douglas Hoey and National Association of Chain Drug Stores president and CEO Steve Anderson said Express Scripts’ $29.1 billion acquisition of Medco would “exacerbate [pharmacy benefit managers’] detrimental effect on pharmacy patient care.”

July 20, 2011

Walgreens on Wednesday directly appealed to benefit consultants with a letter apprising them of the chain’s withdrawal from Express Scripts’ pharmacy provider network, effective Jan. 1, 2012, and educating those consultants of the healthcare value that Walgreens still can deliver without Express Scripts.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday directly appealed to benefit consultants with a letter apprising them of the chain’s withdrawal from Express Scripts’ pharmacy provider network, effective Jan. 1, 2012, and educating those consultants of the healthcare value that Walgreens still can deliver without Express Scripts.

July 12, 2011

South Dakota’s largest physician-owned health plan has adopted prior authorization automation technology from RxEOB for use across its membership, RxEOB said.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — South Dakota’s largest physician-owned health plan has adopted prior authorization automation technology from RxEOB for use across its membership, RxEOB said.

Dakotacare will use the company’s AutoAuthRx to allow clinical pharmacists to collaborate with providers and ensure each prescription is aligned with the member’s specific benefit design and the associated evidence-based guidelines.

July 12, 2011

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday proposed a framework to assist states in building Affordable Insurance Exchanges, state-based competitive marketplaces where individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase affordable private health insurance.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Monday proposed a framework to assist states in building Affordable Insurance Exchanges, state-based competitive marketplaces where individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase affordable private health insurance.

June 23, 2011

Walgreens CFO Wade Miquelon said that the chain's decision to break its ties with pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts was the best decision, according to a Reuters report.

NANTUCKET, Mass. — Walgreens CFO Wade Miquelon said that the chain's decision to break its ties with pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts was the best decision, according to a Reuters report.

Caling it a "principled stand," Miquelon, who spoke at the Jefferies 2011 Global Consumer Conference in Nantucket, Mass., on Thursday, said that "under any scenario of what Express Scripts is proposing ... it's much better for us to go it alone," Reuters reported.