Latebreakers: Wal-Mart enters PBM fray

February 11, 2008

In a speech to its employees, Wal-Mart CEO signals the company's intention to get into the pharmacy benefit management business

As if there aren't enough pharmacy benefit managers in the market, Wal-Mart Stores has announced that it plans to get into the business. The announcement was made in a speech that Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott made to 7,000 of its store managers in Kansas City, Mo., recently. Analysts note that the major PBMs, such as CVS Caremark, Medco, and Express Scripts, have been losing a lot of their business to small, regional PBMs lately, but they believe Wal-Mart will probably do okay with its value proposition. They think the pressure on retail chains to enter this side of the business is prompted in part by Medicare Part D, which has taken away many of their remaining cash-only customers.

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