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WBA, Prime Therapeutics tab leaders for joint venture

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DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (WBA) and Prime Therapeutics LLC have completed the formation of a combined central specialty pharmacy and mail service company, a move that was first announced last August.

The leadership team of the new enterprise, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, has also been ­revealed.
Joel Wright, formerly divisional vice president for Walgreens specialty solutions and a 25-year company veteran, leads AllianceRx Walgreens Prime as chief executive officer.

Other key executives for the new company are Guillermo Sollberger, as chief operating officer; Alex Katen, as chief financial ­officer; Daniel Tardiff, as chief legal ­officer; Don Vidic, as chief pharmacy and growth officer; and Jim Adams, as chief information officer.

The new company, which is jointly owned by Walgreens and Prime Therapeutics, has already begun operations. It is governed by a separate board of directors and led by the executive team named above. Its operating results will be consolidated within WBA’s financial statements.

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to lead this innovative company, and with a strong leadership team and experienced employees, we’ll be well positioned to meet the evolving prescription drug needs of consumers,” Wright says. “Leveraging Walgreens’ pharmacy network and operational efficiencies, along with the pharmacy benefit management expertise of Prime, we have the resources to deliver better care coordination, better patient outcomes, and exceptional care and service to patients and payers.”

AllianceRx Walgreens Prime manages several consolidated mail service and central specialty pharmacy operations with a workforce of about 3,000 composed of former Walgreens and Prime Therapeutics employees. The company is headquartered in Orlando, Fla.

The creation of Alliance Rx is part of a long-term strategic alliance between Walgreens and Prime Therapeutics that was unveiled last August. Prime Therapeutics is the nation’s fourth-largest PBM and is owned by 14 leading Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans.

The alliance with Walgreens introduces a new health care model that aligns pharmacy, PBM and health plans to coordinate patient care, improve health outcomes and lower costs.

In addition to the specialty pharmacy and mail services company, a central component of the alliance is a new retail pharmacy network agreement that took effect January 1. The pact gives Prime Therapeutics’ health plan and employer clients, as well as its 22 million members, access to Walgreens’ preferred pharmacy network and to a number of new ­benefits.

For instance, Prime Therapeutics members have the option of picking up 90-day prescriptions at any Walgreens location or having them delivered to their homes under the 90DayMyWay program. Moreover, Blue Cross and Blue Shield members can receive consultations from a Walgreens pharmacist on beginning a new medication therapy, as well as reminders about various preventive health services, such as immunizations.

“I am pleased with the progress to date to launch this innovative joint venture and to ensure the success of our new alliance,” says Jim Du­Charme, president and chief executive officer of Prime Therapeutics. “Already the retail pharmacy network agreement component of our alliance is yielding considerable savings for our plans and their members, as fully 50% of Prime’s members have transitioned into a network anchored by Walgreens.

“We have built a powerful team of leaders at our joint company with the experience to deliver efficiencies and enhanced care coordination through our combined ­pharmacies.”


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