BCBSNC Invests in Pharmacy Benefits Manager Prime Therapeutics

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) has reached an agreement with Prime Therapeutics (Prime) to administer pharmacy benefits for BCBSNC’s commercial customers whose pharmacy benefits are handled through BCBSNC beginning April 1, 2012. The move will result in lower pharmacy costs for BCBSNC customers and more flexibility regarding services and programs.

Prime is a privately held pharmacy benefits management (PBM) company that is owned by nine Blue organizations representing 12 plans. BCBSNC intends to purchase an equity interest in Prime Therapeutics. BCBSNC will have input and insight into Prime Therapeutics’ operations, and will be better able to coordinate pharmacy and health management programs to improve health and manage rising health care costs. BCBSNC will also be positioned to meet the changing market demands and needs of its customers.
 
“This partnership is another step forward in our efforts to reduce pharmacy costs while providing customers with more flexibility in services and programs,” said BCBSNC President and CEO Brad Wilson. “We are eager to work with other non-profit Blues to improve formulary designs, customer communications, and programs that integrate pharmacy and health management programs.”
 
Prime Therapeutics serves nearly 19 million customers across the U.S. and has a long history of providing a full range of pharmacy benefit management services for its participating plans. These services include claims processing, formulary management, mail service, pharmacy network management, manufacturer trade contracting and clinical programs. Prime has the goal of achieving the lowest net pharmacy costs while providing high quality care and service to customers.
 
 “We are excited about the opportunity to provide innovative pharmacy benefit management solutions to Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina,” said Eric Elliott, President and Chief Executive Officer of Prime Therapeutics. “Our unique consultative approach will provide BCBSNC, its clients and members the highest quality pharmacy benefit management service required to succeed in today's changing health care environment.”
 
BCBSNC Medicare Part D benefit plans will continue to be provided by Medco Health Solutions through 2012.
 
"BCBSNC has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Medco, and we continue to value the services that they have provided our customers for over a decade," said Estay Greene, BCBSNC's Director of Pharmacy Programs.


About BCBSNC:
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to more than 3.7 million members, including approximately 900,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 77 years, the company has served its customers by offering health insurance at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  Access BCBSNC online at bcbsnc.com.
 
About Prime Therapeutics:
Prime Therapeutics is a pharmacy benefit management company dedicated to providing innovative, clinically-based, cost-effective pharmacy solutions for clients and members. Providing pharmacy benefit services nationwide to nearly 19 million covered lives, its client base includes Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, employer and union groups, and third-party administrators. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, Prime Therapeutics is collectively owned by 12 Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans, subsidiaries or affiliates of those Plans. Learn more at primetherapeutics.com.
 
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