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CVS, OptumRx are teaming up

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Pharmacy is partnering with OptumRx, the PBM subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group, to boost convenience and lower costs for consumers and clients while improving outcomes.

The two companies will offer employers a new pharmacy network program providing eligible OptumRx members the option to fill 90-day prescriptions at prices equal to home delivery co-pay levels at CVS locations nationwide or through OptumRx home delivery.

The alliance also increases consumer engagement and improves outcomes through the combination of OptumRx’s pharmacy and clinical programs with CVS’ in-store health and wellness capabilities. And it gives the companies a shared pharmacy platform for developing new pharmacy and health programs for clients and consumers.

“We are very pleased to announce that we will be partnering with OptumRx, which will allow us to explore innovative ways of helping patients on their path to better health,” said CVS Pharmacy president Helena Foulkes. “This strategic relationship will enhance patients’ access to care, lower costs and improve health outcomes through our unmatched clinical capabilities delivered by our 27,000 retail pharmacists nationwide.”

Further expanding OptumRx’s full range of network offerings, the joint offering provides a platform for the companies to bring together capabilities and systems to build new combined pharmacy, health and wellness programs. The long-term relationship of OptumRx and CVS as traditional pharmacy network partners ensures this will quickly benefit consumers and clients, improving outcomes and lowering costs beyond the pharmacy.

“Our new strategic relationship with CVS Pharmacy will benefit our clients and consumers by improving access to medications, driving better health outcomes and reducing costs,” said OptumRx chief executive officer Mark Thierer. “By deepening our relationship, we can develop innovations that further modernize and enhance pharmacy care.”

OptumRx and CVS expect the new 90-day pharmacy offering to be available to OptumRx commercial clients implementing new 90-day prescription benefit designs, beginning July 1. OptumRx manages more than 1 billion prescriptions ­annually.

Earlier this year, CVS rival Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) unveiled a partnership with OptumRx that, among other benefits, gave OptumRx members the option to fill 90-day scripts at mail-order co-pay levels at any Walgreens pharmacy or via OptumRx home ­delivery.

“OptumRx will have similar nonexclusive relationships with both CVS and WBA in which OptumRx can sell to clients either WBA or CVS as the core pharmacy for a preferred network to employer or health plan clients,” Deutsche Bank Securities analyst George Hill said in a research note. “While a nice deal for Optum, we believe demand for preferred networks in commercial books is still relatively low.”


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