Express Scripts collaborates with Prime Therapeutics

Express Scripts, a large pharmacy benefit management organization owned by Cigna, announced a three-year collaboration with Prime Therapeutics.

Prime is collectively owned by 18 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, subsidiaries or affiliates and provides total drug management solutions for more than 28 million people covered by 23 health plans. Express Scripts has 3,000 clients with 75 million customer relationships.

Prime’s Blue Cross Blue Shield members will be able to leverage Express Scripts services and pharmacy network.

Express Scripts will provide Prime with services related to its retail pharmacy network and pharmaceutical manufacturer contracts. Express Scripts will also handle negotiations for drugs on the pharmacy benefit, with both companies working independently with pharmaceutical manufacturers and separately managing certain relationships on the medical benefit and value-based contracting.

"As healthcare costs continue to grow at an unsustainable pace, improving the value we deliver in healthcare is critical,” Ken Paulus, president and CEO of Prime, said in the announcement. “This collaboration will improve outcomes while still maintaining flexibility and transparency to the clients we proudly serve.”

The companies will also maintain their independent relationships with members, caregivers and stakeholders.

"Our agreement reinforces our position as a health services partner of choice for health plans, employers, government and other payers seeking the most value for their investments in healthcare," Tim Wentworth, president of Express Scripts, said in a statement. "This collaboration allows both Prime and Express Scripts to leverage our capabilities to deliver more affordable health care."

The collaboration comes just after Cigna announced it would sell off its non-health business to New York Life for $6.3 billion.