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  • Writer's pictureJake Baker

Employers are Moving on from Traditional PBMs

One of the biggest health insurers in the country, Blue Shield of California, has decided to drop CVS Health’s Caremark as their pharmacy benefit manager. This has "sent jitters through Wall Street," as reflected by the drop in each of the PBM Big Three’s (CVS, Cigna, and UnitedHealth) stock prices.


Rather than working with Caremark, Blue Shield has decided to use Amazon, Mark Cuban’s Cost Plus, and several others to manage prescription drug costs in a way that is different from the typical approach traditional PBMs use. However, this move has only highlighted the pharmacy limitations of Amazon and Cost Plus.


Paul Markovich, Blue Shield’s CEO, stated in the WSJ that the "current pharmacy supply chain is a forest of opacity and profit... that is overwhelmingly complex, designed to maximize the earnings of the participants." His goal with the aggregation of companies to create a new integrated pharmacy-benefit solution is to try and inch closer to transparency and clarity.


Blue Shield’s plan, which is set to fully launch in 2025, could save the company about $500 million annually, or about 10% of what they currently spend on prescription drugs.

Although Blue Shield has the right idea of cutting ties with traditional PBMs, the solution they have tried to create is not as easy as it seems. Adam Fein, CEO of the Drug Channels Institute, pointed out that "they are trading the black box for a collection of competing interests."


Employers, like Blue Shield, are searching for a new PBM solution that is not convoluted or attached to the tentacles of traditional PBMs. This is why Rescription is the perfect solution. The model is built on price transparency and radical clarity, which ensures maximized savings on all drugs for employers and their employees. Rather than the 10%–15% savings that Blue Cross hopes to achieve, Rescription is consistently averaging 20–40% net savings for clients on prescription drug costs.


By using Rescription as a next-gen PBM, employers won’t need to piece together point solutions to attain the results they are looking for. Rescription is a comprehensive solution that has all the infrastructure needed to seamlessly integrate with self-funded employers.


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