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Centene buys stake in pharmacy benefit manager RxAdvance

Medicaid managed-care insurer Centene Corp. stated Tuesday it purchased a stake in cloud-based pharmacy benefit manager RxAdvance to assist the insurer decrease drug prices and enhance well being outcomes.

St. Louis-based Centene did not reveal the scale of the fairness funding, however stated it might be capable to broaden its stake in the longer term.

The deal is the most recent instance of an insurer shopping for up or investing in PBMs to realize extra management over pharmaceutical prices. In one other deal, Cigna Corp. last week announced it might purchase PBM Express Scripts for $67 billion. In December, Aetna agreed to change into a stand-alone division inside pharmacy chain and PBM CVS Health.

PBMs are the behind-the-scenes middlemen between drugmakers and well being plans that negotiate drug reductions, handle formularies and design pharmacy networks. PBMs have been put beneath the microscope recently for his or her function in the rising value of medication in the U.S., though PBMs argue they assist safe the bottom costs for his or her shoppers.

The partnership with RxAdvance will assist Centene “improve health outcomes and reduce avoidable drug-impacted medical and administrative costs,” the insurer stated in the announcement.

As a part of the deal, Jesse Hunter, Centene’s govt vp of mergers and acquisitions and chief technique officer, will be a part of RxAdvance’s board of administrators. RxAdvance, based mostly in Southborough, Mass., was launched in 2016 and is run by CEO Ravi Ika and board chairman John Sculley, former CEO of Apple.

“RxAdvance’s transparency, disruptive technology, and unique approach to partnership will help us further improve quality health outcomes for our members and other customers, while managing healthcare costs,” Centene CEO Michael Neidorff stated in a press release.

Shelby Livingston is an insurance coverage reporter. Before becoming a member of Modern Healthcare in 2016, she coated worker advantages at Business Insurance journal. She has a grasp’s diploma in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor’s in English from Clemson University.

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