Blue Shield of California's PBM shakeup won't hurt earnings, CVS execs say

CVS Health said Blue Shield of California's decision to swap CVS Caremark for Amazon Pharmacy and Mark Cuban's Cost Plus Drug Co. will have an "immaterial impact" on the company's long-term outlook. 

In an Aug. 17 regulatory filing, CVS Health said the switch up will not change the company's 2023 earning guidance. 

On Aug. 17, Blue Shield of California said CVS Caremark will no longer manage most of its pharmacy benefits, opting for new partnerships with Amazon Pharmacy and Cost Plus Drug Co. Abarca will pay prescription drug claims, and Prime Therapeutics will negotiate savings with drugmakers. 

CVS Caremark will still manage Blue Shield of California's specialty pharmacy. 

CVS Health shares dropped 8 percent after Blue Shield of California's announcement, The Wall Street Journal reported Aug. 18. Shares of the Cigna Group and UnitedHealth Group, which also manage major PBMs, also dropped. 

In the regulatory filing, CVS said CVS Caremark "remains the leading pharmacy benefit manager in the United States." 

"CVS Health believes customers choose CVS Caremark because of its ability to seamlessly administer complex pharmacy and specialty pharmacy benefits with high levels of customer service and satisfaction, as well as our leading cost position. We are pleased to continue to serve Blue Shield of California customers for their specialty pharmaceutical needs," the company said. 

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