A woman walks past a CVS Pharmacy on November 2, 2022 in Washington, DC.

Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

shares of cvs health Blue Shield of California plunged 9% Thursday after it announced it was leaving the company. Pharmacy Benefit Management services and instead partner with mark cuban cost plus drugs company and amazon pharmacy To save on drug costs for its nearly 5 million members.

The announcement signals the possibility for health insurers to abandon the traditional pharmacy benefit manager, or PBM, system and send shares to other companies that offer PBM services at a lower cost.

signa And unitedhealth group declined by 7% and 1%, respectively.

PBMs maintain lists of drugs covered by health insurance plans and negotiate drug discounts with manufacturers. But he has recently come under scrutiny from lawmakers for his role in raising drug prices and skyrocketing health care costs.

Caremark by CVS Health has been a PBM partner of Blue Shield for over 15 years.

Blue Shield will now work with five different companies to provide “convenient, transparent access to medicines while reducing costs.”

Blue Shield CEO Paul Markovich said the plan, which is set to fully launch in 2025, could save the company up to $500 million annually.

Amazon Pharmacy will offer medicine delivery at home. Cuba’s Cost Plus Drug Company will provide access to low-cost drugs through retail pharmacies. Another company, Abarca Health, will process drug claims.

Blue Shield will retain the CVS Caremark for its specialty pharmacy services, which provide specialty therapy and counseling to patients suffering from complex disorders.

In a statement to CNBC, CVS Health spokesman Michael DeAngelis said, “We look forward to providing care for Blue Shield of California members who require complex, specialty drugs – as we have done for nearly two decades.” Have been.”

Still, the loss of Blue Shield’s PBM partnership is another blow for Caremark, which is on course to lose a contract with it as well. sentinel next year.


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