6 things to know about Humana's heavily guarded pharmacy

Humana's pharmacy business is the fourth-largest pharmacy benefits manager in the U.S., filling 433 million prescriptions last year, according to an Insider Louisville report.

Here are six things to know about Humana's industrial-sized pharmacy in the Cincinnati area:

1. Humana keeps the precise location of its pharmacy under wraps, with security guards staffing the building 24/7.

2. Roughly $40 million worth of drugs are housed in the mail-order pharmacy, ranging from over-the-counter insulin inhalers to the $100,000 hepatitis C prescription drug Harvoni, according to the report.

3. The mail-order pharmacy's main line can churn 120,000 prescriptions a day. Pill bottles reach the shipping area in about 15 to 20 minutes.

4. Highly regulated drugs are handled in "The Cage," a separate area that is off limits for most employees. In the area, pharmacists count medications by hand.

5. Wholesalers deliver hundreds of different drugs to the facility, and drugmakers bring large quantities of a single drug to Humana's Ohio pharmacy. Paul Harder, the facility's pharmacist in charge, told Insider Louisville Humana keeps its inventory low because wholesalers can deliver twice a day.

6. Humana runs other mail-order pharmacies in Arizona and Texas. The health insurer sees the pharmacies as a way to better control medication accuracy and consistent delivery to ensure members stick to their medication regimens. 

For the full Insider Louisville report, click here.

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