Content about Pharmacy Benefit Management

March 25, 2011

A group representing the nation's community pharmacies has applauded legislation introduced in Mississippi that will increase oversight over pharmacy benefit managers.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A group representing the nation's community pharmacies has applauded legislation introduced in Mississippi that will increase oversight over pharmacy benefit managers.

The National Community Pharmacists Association lauded Mississippi S.B. 2445 and expressed its support of the bill in a letter to state legislators. The bill, NCPA EVP and CEO Kathleen Jaeger said, "would end the special treatment for out-of-state, mail-order pharmacies and put local Mississippi pharmacists first."

March 22, 2011

With record second-quarter sales and earnings under its belt, a grasp on 20.1% of the retail prescription drug market and a sharpened focus on core assets, Walgreens' executives expressed optimism on future growth — despite such external challenges as a soft economy and continued pressure on Medicaid reimbursement — and reiterated the company's focus on core strategies.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With record second-quarter sales and earnings under its belt, a grasp on 20.1% of the retail prescription drug market and a sharpened focus on core assets, Walgreens' executives expressed optimism on future growth — despite such external challenges as a soft economy and continued pressure on Medicaid reimbursement — and reiterated the company's focus on core strategies.

March 15, 2011

A drug used to prevent stroke in patients with a form of atrial fibrillation has won preferred Tier 2 formulary status with pharmacy benefit managers Medco Health Solutions and CVS Caremark.

RIDGEFIELD, Conn. — A drug used to prevent stroke in patients with a form of atrial fibrillation has won preferred Tier 2 formulary status with pharmacy benefit managers Medco Health Solutions and CVS Caremark.

Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals announced Monday that CVS Caremark and Medco had added Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate mesylate) capsules to their commercial preferred drug lists, and Medco had added the drug to its Part D drug list.

March 15, 2011

Pharmacy benefit manager SXC Health Solutions has appointed president and CEO Mark Thierer as chairman of the board, the company said.

LISLE, Ill. — Pharmacy benefit manager SXC Health Solutions has appointed president and CEO Mark Thierer as chairman of the board, the company said.

Thierer previously was a director at the company and replaces Terrence Burke, who will retire from the company this year. Board compensation committee chairman Steve Cosler has been appointed lead independent director for the company.

March 14, 2011

A lot was made of Walgreens' sale of its pharmacy benefit management business to focus on its stores and the other parts of its business, with some analysts and pundits suggesting CVS should or might soon follow suit. Whether or not CVS Caremark decides to do the same remains to be seen, but it certainly isn't the foregone conclusion some have suggested it might be.

WHAT IT MEANS AND WHY IT'S IMPORTANT — A lot was made of Walgreens' sale of its pharmacy benefit management business to focus on its stores and the other parts of its business, with some analysts and pundits suggesting CVS should or might soon follow suit. Whether or not CVS Caremark decides to do the same remains to be seen, but it certainly isn't the foregone conclusion some have suggested it might be.

March 9, 2011

A report by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General found that beneficiary premiums in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program are higher than than they should be, due to overpayments to plan sponsors, including pharmacy benefit managers.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — A report by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General found that beneficiary premiums in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program are higher than than they should be, due to overpayments to plan sponsors, including pharmacy benefit managers.

March 9, 2011

Walgreens on Wednesday sold its pharmacy benefit management business, Walgreens Health Initiatives, to Catalyst Health Solutions in a cash transaction for $525 million, subject to certain adjustments. The transaction is structured as an acquisition of all of the capital stock of WHI.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens on Wednesday sold its pharmacy benefit management business, Walgreens Health Initiatives, to Catalyst Health Solutions in a cash transaction for $525 million, subject to certain adjustments. The transaction is structured as an acquisition of all of the capital stock of WHI.

March 4, 2011

Alarming statistics are as common in the healthcare world as healthcare workers themselves, but some of the latest numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are particularly dramatic: Nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes, the agency said in late January, and an estimated 79 million U.S. adults — representing more than one-third of all adults in the country — have prediabetes.

March 3, 2011

The head of a group representing the nation's pharmacy benefit managers got honors from the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

WASHINGTON — The head of a group representing the nation's pharmacy benefit managers got honors from the Generic Pharmaceutical Association.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association announced Thursday that president and CEO Mark Merritt had received the GPhA’s Outstanding Contribution Award at the generic drug industry group’s annual meeting in Orlando, Fla. The organization has advocated increased generic drug utilization and found common cause with the generics industry in its support for follow-on biologics.

March 1, 2011

In connection with the previously announced $1.25 billion acquisition of the Medicare Part D business of Universal American by CVS Caremark, both companies have announced that the Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

WOONSOCKET, R.I., and RYE BROOK, N.Y. — In connection with the previously announced $1.25 billion acquisition of the Medicare Part D business of Universal American by CVS Caremark, both companies have announced that the Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Act.

The transaction is expected to close by the end of second quarter 2011 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including approval of Universal American shareholders and state regulatory approvals.

March 1, 2011

As previously announced and widely reported, March 1 marks the day that Larry Merlo officially assumes the role of CEO of CVS Caremark.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — As previously announced and widely reported, March 1 marks the day that Larry Merlo officially assumes the role of CEO of CVS Caremark. Merlo, who now serves as president and CEO, succeeds Tom Ryan, who remains nonexecutive chairman until his retirement at the company's annual meeting of shareholders in May.

Upon Ryan's retirement as chairman in May, the company intends to elect CVS Caremark board member David Dorman as the next nonexecutive chairman at the 2011 annual meeting. Dorman has been on the CVS Caremark board of directors since 2006.

February 25, 2011

Pharmacy benefit manager SXC Health Solutions had revenues of $1.95 billion in 2010, compared with $1.44 billion in 2009, according to an earnings report released Thursday.

LISLE, Ill. — Pharmacy benefit manager SXC Health Solutions had revenues of $1.95 billion in 2010, compared with $1.44 billion in 2009, according to an earnings report released Thursday.

Profit for the year was $64.7 million, compared with $46.1 million in 2009.

February 24, 2011

Humana Pharmacy Solutions, Humana’s pharmacy benefit management division, on Thursday announced it has selected AmerisourceBergen as Humana’s primary wholesaler for drug purchasing.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Humana Pharmacy Solutions, Humana’s pharmacy benefit management division, on Thursday announced it has selected AmerisourceBergen as Humana’s primary wholesaler for drug purchasing.

“With this agreement, we’ll be able to offer members and employers access to more cost-effective generic versions of clinically proven and popular brand-name drugs,” stated William Fleming, VP Humana Pharmacy Solutions.

The five-year agreement takes effect May 1.

February 22, 2011

Sales at Medco Health Solutions increased to $16.9 billion during fourth quarter 2010 and to $66 billion for the fiscal year as a whole, representing respective 11.1% and 10.3% increases over the same periods the year before, the pharmacy benefit manager said Tuesday.

FRANKLIN LAKES, N.J. — Sales at Medco Health Solutions increased to $16.9 billion during fourth quarter 2010 and to $66 billion for the fiscal year as a whole, representing respective 11.1% and 10.3% increases over the same periods the year before, the pharmacy benefit manager said Tuesday.

Profits for the quarter were $378.5 million, a 10.8% increase over fourth quarter 2009, while profits for the year were $1.4 billion, an 11.5% increase over fiscal year 2009.

February 18, 2011

CVS Caremark announced on Friday that the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute awarded the company and its PBM client, ArcelorMittal, the 2011 Rx Benefit Innovation Award. The award recognizes the Pharmacy Advisor program, which was developed by CVS Caremark to manage costs, improve medication adherence and close gaps in care for members with diabetes.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Friday that the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute awarded the company and its PBM client, ArcelorMittal, the 2011 Rx Benefit Innovation Award. The award recognizes the Pharmacy Advisor program, which was developed by CVS Caremark to manage costs, improve medication adherence and close gaps in care for members with diabetes.

February 15, 2011

Mark Merritt, the president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, responded to a provision on the Pentagon's new budget proposal, which encourages Tricare members to use generic medications and mail-service pharmacies to save money.

WASHINGTON — Mark Merritt, the president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, responded to a provision on the Pentagon's new budget proposal, which encourages Tricare members to use generic medications and mail-service pharmacies to save money.

February 11, 2011

Bills introduced in the legislatures of nearly a dozen states have pharmacy benefit managers and the generic drug industry fearing that the bills could lead to limits on doctors’ abilities to prescribe generics through e-prescribing.

NEW YORK — Bills introduced in the legislatures of nearly a dozen states have pharmacy benefit managers and the generic drug industry fearing that the bills could lead to limits on doctors’ abilities to prescribe generics through e-prescribing.

The Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, the main lobby for PBMs, said the bills would prohibit doctors from seeing lower-cost drug options, including generics and preferred brands; would prevent the e-prescribing software from showing safety information; and would disallow lower-cost pharmacy options.

February 8, 2011

Pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions is donating $5 million toward the construction of a new school of pharmacy in New Jersey.

MADISON, N.J. — Pharmacy benefit manager Medco Health Solutions is donating $5 million toward the construction of a new school of pharmacy in New Jersey.

Franklin Lakes, N.J.-based Medco announced that the Medco School of Pharmacy at Fairleigh Dickinson University would be New Jersey’s first pharmacy school affiliated with an independent university. The school will admit 85 students per year.

February 8, 2011

A group representing the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers said Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius should continue encouraging state Medicaid programs to explore affordable pharmacy solutions despite opposition from the independent drug store lobby.

WASHINGTON — A group representing the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers said Health and Human Services secretary Kathleen Sebelius should continue encouraging state Medicaid programs to explore affordable pharmacy solutions despite opposition from the independent drug store lobby.

December 7, 2010

The war of words between independent pharmacies and the pharmacy benefit management industry again is heating up. And again, the two groups are at odds over the question of how transparent — or opaque — the PBM industry’s business dealings with its clients are, and whether those business practices demand reform.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., and WASHINGTON — The war of words between independent pharmacies and the pharmacy benefit management industry again is heating up. And again, the two groups are at odds over the question of how transparent — or opaque — the PBM industry’s business dealings with its clients are, and whether those business practices demand reform.

December 7, 2010

New York — Given the high costs of medication nonadherence to the healthcare system and its responsibility for numerous hospitalizations every year, a number of companies have devised means to combat the problem. One pharmacy benefit manager is doing it online.


December 6, 2010

The specialty pharmacy market is set to reach $90 billion this year, so it’s clear that managed care organizations have a lot at stake.

PHILADELPHIA — The specialty pharmacy market is set to reach $90 billion this year, so it’s clear that managed care organizations have a lot at stake.

That was the overarching theme at a symposium organized by specialty pharmacy provider ACRO Pharmaceutical Services, in conjunction with Armada Health Care, last Thursday at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia.

December 3, 2010

Pharmacy benefit manager SXC Health Solutions will acquire Birmingham, Ala.-based specialty pharmacy provider MedfusionRx for $100 million, SXC said Thursday.

LISLE, Ill. — Pharmacy benefit manager SXC Health Solutions will acquire Birmingham, Ala.-based specialty pharmacy provider MedfusionRx for $100 million, SXC said Thursday.

SXC also may pay an additional $5.5 million if unspecified performance targets are met through fiscal year 2012, the company said. MedfusionRx operates pharmacies in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, West Virginia and Kansas, and serves more than 9,000 patients.

December 2, 2010

CVS Caremark announced on Thursday that it has been awarded pharmacy benefit management and drug therapy management accreditation from URAC, a healthcare accrediting organization that establishes quality standards for the healthcare industry ...

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Thursday that it has been awarded pharmacy benefit management and drug therapy management accreditation from URAC, a healthcare accrediting organization that establishes quality standards for the healthcare industry. CVS Caremark previously had received accreditation for PBM and DTM from URAC in 2007.

December 1, 2010

Humana's pharmacy benefit management business has been awarded pharmacy benefit management accreditation from a nonprofit healthcare accrediting organization.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Humana's pharmacy benefit management business has been awarded pharmacy benefit management accreditation from a nonprofit healthcare accrediting organization.

Humana Pharmacy Solutions was awarded full pharmacy benefit management accreditation by URAC. URAC standards require companies to demonstrate their commitment to quality and safety.