Insurer PBMs Eye GPOs as Alternative Purchasing Mechanism

CVS Health Corp. has launched a group purchasing organization called Zinc Health Services as part of its Caremark business, joining a small but growing group of PBMs that are turning to GPOs as an alternative way to source medications.

The group, which also includes Cigna Corp.’s Express Scripts, may be seeking to shift rebates and discounts into a less transparent fee structure, suggested a June 24 blog post by Drug Channels Institute CEO Adam Fein, Ph.D., that highlighted a similar perspective outlined in a report from Nephron Research analysts. Express Scripts rolled out its own GPO called Ascent last year, and Ascent also negotiates prices for Blue Cross Blue Shield-owned PBM Prime Therapeutics LLC.

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