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Walgreens, OptumRx plan integrated Rx offering

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Offers option to fill 90-day scripts in stores at mail-order co-pays

Walgreens Well Experience pharmacy dept_featured

DEERFIELD, Ill. and EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. — Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager OptumRx are collaborating on an an integrated pharmacy care solution that blends attributes of in-store and mail-order prescription drug services.

The companies said Thursday that OptumRx members enrolled in the program will get the option to fill 90-day prescriptions at home delivery co-payment levels at any Walgreens pharmacy nationwide or through OptumRx home delivery. Members also will be connected to clinical guidance that addresses specific disease states, such as diabetes, and boosts medication compliance.

Because patients will be able to choose how to receive their prescriptions and have 24/7 access to a pharmacist, the program will yield higher medication adherence rates and, in turn, better health outcomes, according to Walgreens and OptumRx. The companies said the integrated solution also will improve the ability of their systems to connect to and communicate health data and analytics to make sure members get the most effective prescription drugs at the right cost.

“OptumRx’s differentiated pharmacy care services model creating smarter health care connections will be a strong fit with the more than 27,000 Walgreens pharmacists who interact with and support millions of patients on a daily basis,” Walgreens president Alex Gourlay said. “Together, we will build upon our complementary capabilities and shared vision to offer this new pharmacy solution delivering true value to the customers that we serve.”

Plans call for the new pharmacy solution to be available to commercial clients implementing new 90-day prescription benefit designs starting Jan. 1, 2017.

OptumRx noted that the joint pharmacy care offering aims to help payers and health care sponsors in their efforts to better manage drug benefits and rein in the rising cost of care.

“By integrating Walgreens’ industry-leading in-store pharmacy capabilities and convenient retail locations with OptumRx’s advanced pharmacy care services, we expect to create significant value for our clients and members,” said OptumRx chief executive officer Larry Renfro. “We are excited to be working with Walgreens to create a new pharmacy solution that provides convenience and cost savings and goes beyond filling prescriptions to deliver a more valuable pharmacy and health management experience for consumers.”

OptumRx, part of UnitedHealth Group, serves more than 66 million members, manages more than 1 billion prescriptions annually and has a network of over 67,000 community pharmacies and home delivery pharmacies. Walgreens operates 8,173 drug stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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