CVS Health Buys Premier; Gets 367 Specialty Pharmacies in Health Systems

Drug Topics JournalDrug Topics June 2019
Volume 163
Issue 6

Premier is exiting the specialty pharmacy market and selling its ProCare Pharmacy company.

Finger on Puzzle Piece

Premier, Inc., has announced that it is selling its specialty pharmacy business to ProCare Pharmacy, LLC, a subsidiary of CVS Health Corporation. Premier will get $22.5 million, plus up to an additional $20 million for inventory. ProCare Pharmacy gets the specialty pharmacy business in 367 hospitals in 66 health systems. 

The company says that it is leaving the specialty pharmacy domain because the dynamics of the market have changed significantly. “Although specialty pharmacy continues to be an important component in healthcare, today’s market dynamics are challenging and have resulted in new pressures across the industry,” says Michael Alkire, president of Premier, according to a company statement.

What was left unsaid was that much of the pressure is due to direct and indirect remuneration (DIR) fees created by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), one of the biggest of which is CVS Caremark. 

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“Premier’s long-term strategy is to provide our member health systems with best-in-class solutions while at the same time actively managing our portfolio as we seek to deliver superior financial performance and long-term value for stockholders,” says Susan DeVore, the company’s CEO. “Exiting the business better positions Premier to capitalize on our strengths and enhance our focus on core, growing business lines encompassing our supply chain, enterprise analytics, and performance improvement capabilities,” says Alkire. 

Premier runs its specialty pharmacy operations in both its Acro Pharmaceutical Services and Commcare Pharmacy divisions by the end of June. Acro has facilities in Philadelphia and Memphis and Commcare has a facility in Plantation, FL. Premier is a healthcare improvement company headquartered in Charlotte, NC, that offers data and analytics, collaboratives, supply chain solutions, consulting, and other services. Prescription records will be transferred to CVS pharmacies. Patients who receive specialty prescriptions by mail will receive them from CVS Specialty instead of Acro or Commcare.

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