New unit joins central specialty, mail businesses
DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens and pharmacy benefit manager Prime Therapeutics LLC have completed their transaction to form a joint pharmacy services company and announced its leadership.
Called AllianceRx Walgreens Prime and based in Orlando, Fla., the new company melds the central specialty pharmacy and mail service businesses of Walgreens and Prime Therapeutics, which is owned by 14 Blue Cross and Blue Shield health plans.
Walgreens and Prime said Monday that work to unite mail services and central specialty operations under AllianceRx Walgreens Prime is under way. The new company will be consolidated into the financial statements of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc., with full integration expected by early calendar year 2018. The long-term alliance was announced in late August.
AllianceRx Walgreens Prime’s approximately 3,000 employees will include current Walgreens and Prime employees, including those now working at the Prime location in Orlando.
Joel Wright, formerly divisional vice president for Walgreens specialty solutions, has been named chief executive officer of AllianceRx Walgreens Prime. Wright has held various leadership roles at Walgreens over the past 25 years.
“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 said in a statement. “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, patient outcomes and exceptional care and service to patients and payers.”
Guillermo Sollberger, vice president of specialty and PrimeMail Pharmacies at Prime Therapeutics, has been appointed chief operating officer of AllianceRx Walgreens Prime.
Rounding out the management team are Don Vidic, division vice president of specialty strategy at Walgreens, as chief pharmacy and growth officer; Alex Katen, a finance director at Walgreens, as chief financial officer; Jim Adams, director of business solutions and pharmacy health and wellness technology at Walgreens, as chief information officer; and Daniel Tardiff, director and managing counsel of pharmacy purchasing and development legal at Walgreens, as chief legal officer.
Plans call for the AllianceRx Walgreens Prime brand to be rolled out in the market over the coming months. Central specialty pharmacy and mail service customers of Walgreens and Prime will be transitioned seamlessly, the companies said. Customer services will include omnichannel tools and resources to help improve medication adherence, 24/7 pharmacy support and pickup of specialty medicines at Walgreens retail locations.
As announced in August, Walgreens became the preferred pharmacy provider in Prime’s national retail pharmacy network starting Jan. 1, giving the PBM’s 22 million members access to personalized pharmacy services and cost-saving opportunities when filling prescriptions at Walgreens.
New benefits already being provided include the 90DayMyWay program, which gives members the option of picking up 90-day prescriptions at any Walgreens location or having them delivered to their home. Blue Cross and Blue Shield members also can receive consultations from a Walgreens pharmacist when starting a new medication therapy and get reminders about certain preventive health care services, such as immunizations.
“I am pleased with the progress to-date to launch this innovative joint venture and to ensuring the success of our new alliance,” stated Jim DuCharme, president and CEO 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,” DuCharme added. “I look forward to this joint company delivering better health outcomes and deeper savings for our health plans and members for years to come and to governing the new company together with Walgreens.”
Prime will continue its core function of providing PBM services from its locations in Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico and Texas. Likewise, Walgreens will continue to operate its more than 230 specialty pharmacies across the country.