Minnesota Blues offers 90-day retail scripts

May 15, 2005

Minnesota Blue Cross and Blue Shield is now offering beneficiaries the option of going to a participating retail pharmacy to fill their 90-day prescriptions for maintenance drugs.

Minnesota Blue Cross and Blue Shield is now offering beneficiaries the option of going to a participating retail pharmacy to fill their 90-day prescriptions for maintenance drugs.

Instead of having to use a mail-order pharmacy, as in the past, Blues' beneficiaries using the 90dayRx Pharmacy Network can go to any participating pharmacy to have their scripts filled. So far, 327 independent and chain pharmacies have signed on to the network. Beneficiaries pay two co-pays for 90-day supplies at retail, compared with one co-pay for a 90-day mail-order supply.

"We had a great response from pharmacies to participate in the new program, and they're helping us provide creative and innovative ways to help control rising drug costs while providing quality health care," said Al Heaton, Blue Cross director of pharmacy. "90day-Rx offers many benefits to the individual member, and it's allowing retail pharmacists to offer a customer incentive that previously was available through an out-of-state mail-order pharmacy."

The 90-day retail option is more evidence that the marketplace is beginning to recognize the value of letting people decide how and where they get their prescriptions filled, said Craig Fuller, president-CEO, National Association of Chain Drug Stores. He noted that the Blues are following a trend by other providers, including Walgreens and the PBM MedImpact. In his weekly column, he urged payers to ask a simple question when pondering where their members can fill their scripts: Who decides, your people or your PBM? "The marketplace is clearly ready to make sure that people can decide," he added.