Walgreens, Prime Therapeutics create new pharmacy network
Deerfield-based Walgreens will team up with pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics to form a new retail pharmacy network that combines Walgreens brick-and-mortar pharmacies with Prime's mail-order network.
Eagan, Minnesota-based Prime is the nation's fourth largest pharmacy benefit manager and is owned by 14 Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans. It has about 22 million members.
The combined organization, to be co-owned by Prime and Walgreens, is expected to provide operating and purchasing efficiencies, the companies said in a release. Prime members will be able to fill prescriptions at Walgreens pharmacies.
The combined company will be run by a separate board of directors and executive team, which will be selected by Walgreens and Prime. Leadership decisions for the company will be announced later this year. Prime will continue to support client-specific network choices for health plans, but Walgreens will be the core participant in Prime's national preferred pharmacy network beginning Jan. 1, 2017.
"With costs rising at unsustainable rates, we must take strong and decisive action to make health care more affordable," said Jim DuCharme, CEO and president of Prime. "We're trying to apply the brakes to this runaway freight train of rising drug costs.
"We believe that the care, value and commitment that we will deliver together will create benefits to our Blue Plan clients and members," DuCharme said.
"The prescription drug needs of consumers are often changing, and this unique collaboration will help us deliver value, care and service to our patients and the communities we serve," said Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer of Walgreens parent company Walgreens Boots Alliance.