Blue Shield of California shrugs CVS for Mark Cuban, Amazon pharmacies

Blue Shield of California chose Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Co. and Amazon Pharmacy on Aug. 17 as its preferred pharmacy networks. 

The nonprofit payer said its new strategy — which includes limiting its yearslong partnership with pharmacy benefit manager CVS Caremark — will result in annual savings of $500 million, according to a news release from the payer. 

With the reorganization, CVS will continue providing specialty medications and services for patients with complex conditions, but Amazon Pharmacy and Cost Plus Drugs will handle the rest. Abarca will pay prescription drug claims, and Prime Therapeutics will negotiate savings with drugmakers.

Blue Shield of California has 4.8 million members and is the second insurer to pen a deal with Cost Plus Drugs. Mark Cuban's drug company secured its first payer partner, Capital Blue Cross and its 1 million members, in October.

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