Blue Shield of California releases new pharmacy care model

Aug. 18, 2023

On Aug. 17, Blue Shield of California announced via a press release a new pharmacy care model that aims to “fix problems in today’s broken prescription drug system.” The organization is looking to reinvent how medications are purchased and supplied to its 4.8 million members by selecting organizations that share Blue Shield’s vision for more affordable and transparent pharmacy services.

The press release stated, “In today’s current pharmacy supply chain, there can be up to a dozen companies involved in the process from when a drug is made to when a member receives it. Some can add complexity and cost without adding value or providing transparency into the rationale for their pricing. To simplify the system and cut unnecessary costs, Blue Shield has selected five companies with like-minded philosophical and technology standards to build a new, innovative model following regulatory approval. Together, Blue Shield will offer an integrated, coordinated, and holistic pharmacy experience to its members.

The five companies include:

  • Amazon Pharmacy. The organization will provide fast and free delivery or prescription medications with status updates, upfront pricing, and 24/7 access to pharmacists.
  • Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company. The company will provide simple, transparent, and a more affordable pricing model.
  • Abarca. The organization will pay prescription drug costs faster and more accurately while evolving its platform, Darwin, to support simplified payment models.
  • Prime Therapeutics. The company plans to work with Blue Shield to negotiate savings with drug manufacturers to move toward a value-based care model that aligns prices to health outcomes.
  • CVS Caremark. The organization will provide specialty pharmacy services for members with complex conditions.

Alex Oshmyansky, founder and CEO of Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company was quoted in the release. He said, "Our company was built on a commitment to deliver transparent and affordable prescription drugs to everyone, and we are excited to collaborate with Blue Shield of California to change this part of the healthcare system in such an impactful and meaningful way. We hope others will follow in the effort to fix this convoluted and inefficient prescription drug supply chain.”

Blue Shield of California has the press release.