6 recent payer pharmacy moves

Payers are swapping pharmaceutical benefit managers, adding partnerships with Amazon and looking at billionaire investor Mark Cuban's new approach to dispensing drugs. 

Here are six payer pharmacy moves Becker's has covered since Oct. 6. 

  1. Elevance Health is set to acquire the nation's largest independent specialty pharmacy, BioPlus. Once the deal closes, the specialty pharmacy management company will operate as part of IngenioRX, Elevance Health's pharmaceutical benefit manager.

  2. Amazon Pharmacy is scooping up contracts with payers across the country. Starting next year, Amazon Pharmacy will become the exclusive home prescription delivery service for over 2 million Florida Blue members. The online pharmacy will also be a preferred retail pharmacy provider for 1.5 million Centene Medicare Advantage members in 2023.
  1. Cigna is spending $200 million to integrate Express Scripts as Centene's new pharmacy benefit manager for 20 million members starting in 2024. CVS Health executives told investors the company is expecting a $2 billion decline in 2024 revenues in part due to the loss of its pharmacy benefits contract with Centene.
  1. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts added a pharmacy benefits partnership with CVS Caremark. BCBS Massachusetts members will have access to certain generic medications without cost-sharing, a cost-share assistance program, pharmacy advising and diabetes care from CVS Caremark.

  2. Cost Plus Drug Co., Mark Cuban's online pharmacy, has picked up a partnership with Vivio, a San Leandro, Calif.-based specialty drug management platform. Vivio, which markets itself as a PBM alternative, has clinicians and researchers match evidence from drug trials with individual patient data to improve outcomes and lower costs for their customers, which include health plans and self-insured employers.

  3. Capital Blue Cross will be the first payer partner of Cost Plus Drug Co. The PBM currently offers nearly 1,000 generic medications and only charges consumers 15 percent more than it pays to buy the drug from the manufacturer, along with a $3 per prescription dispensing fee plus shipping.

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