KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

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With Eye On Improving Costs, Walgreens Forms Partnership With UnitedHealth

Under the deal, the insurer will charge its patients less if they fill their prescriptions at Walgreens stores.

The Wall Street Journal: Walgreens, UnitedHealth Form Pharmacy Partnership
Two of the largest players in the U.S. pharmaceutical supply-chain, Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. and UnitedHealth Group Inc.’s OptumRx, formed a partnership aimed at helping them capture a greater share of the prescription drug market. Under the deal, OptumRx, which manages prescription drug insurance for more than 66 million Americans, will charge its customers, including employers and insurers, less for certain drugs if patients fill their prescriptions at Walgreens stores, instead of other pharmacies. The offering will apply to 90-day prescriptions for medications that patients take for chronic conditions, sometimes called maintenance drugs. (Walker, 3/17)

Reuters: UnitedHealth Unit Signs Deal With Walgreens To Grow In-Store Prescriptions
OptumRx, the pharmacy benefit manager of UnitedHealth Group Inc., said Thursday that it had signed an agreement with Walgreens Boots Alliance that is the first step in a strategic relationship with the pharmacy chain. Walgreens, which has 8,200 pharmacies, will fill 90-day prescriptions for OptumRx customers at its mail delivery prices, starting Jan. 1, 2017, OptumRx said. Mail delivery prices are typically lower, sometimes by as much as one-third, than what pharmacies charge in stores. (3/17)

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