Homepage / Technology / Express Scripts boots another online pharmacy — CareZone — from its network
Amazon says this Prime Day was its biggest shopping event ever Kudlow says President Trump is 'so dissatisfied' with China trade talks that he is keeping the pressure on As stocks regain their footing, an ominous warning looms Goldman Sachs downgrades Clorox to sell, says valuation is 'unsustainably high' How Satya Nadella has spurred a tripling of Microsoft's stock price in just over four years Kudlow says economic growth could top 4% for 'a quarter or two,' more tax cuts could be coming The one chart that explains Netflix’s stunning comeback US housing starts plunge 12% in June to a nine-month low Aerospace titans Boeing and Airbus top $110 billion in orders at Farnborough Target uses Prime Day to its advantage, logging its 'biggest online shopping day' so far this year Billionaire Marc Lasry sees bitcoin reaching up to $40,000 as it becomes more mainstream and easier to trade These are the 10 US airports where you're most likely to be hacked Amazon shares slightly higher as investors await Prime Day results Wreck of Russian warship found, believed to hold gold worth $130 billion A bullish ‘phenomenon’ in bond market is weeks away from fading, top credit strategist says Stocks making the biggest moves premarket: MS, GOOGL, TXN, UAL, NFLX & more Twitter shares up 50% since late April means most upside priced in, analyst says in downgrade EU fines Google $5 billion over Android antitrust abuse Mortgage applications fall 2.5% as buyers struggle to find affordable homes America may not have the tools to counter the next financial crisis, warn Bernanke, Geithner and Paulson Investors are getting spooked as the risk of a no-deal Brexit rises EU expected to fine Google $5 billion over Android antitrust abuse Ex-FBI chief James Comey urges Americans to vote for Democrats in midterm elections Elon Musk apologizes to British cave diver following baseless 'pedo guy' claim Disney, Comcast and Fox: All you need to know about one of the biggest media battles ever Xiaomi shares notch new high after Hong Kong, mainland China stock exchanges reach agreement The trade war is complicating China's efforts to fix its economy European markets set for a strong open amid earnings; Google in focus Hedge fund billionaire Einhorn places sixth in major poker tournament The biggest spender of political ads on Facebook? President Trump Asian stocks poised to gain after Fed's Powell gives upbeat comments; dollar firmer Stocks are setting up to break to new highs Not all FAANG stocks are created equal EU ruling may be too little, too late to stop Google's mobile dominance Cramer explains how Netflix's stock managed to taper its drop after disappointing on earnings Airbnb condemns New York City's 'bellhop politics,' threatens legal retaliation Amazon sellers say they were unfairly suspended right before Prime Day, and now have two bad choices Investor explains why 'duller' tech stocks can have better returns than 'high-flying' tech names Elon Musk is 'thin-skinned and short-tempered,' says tech VC Texas Instruments CEO Brian Crutcher resigns for violating code of conduct Google Cloud Platform fixes issues that took down Spotify, Snapchat and other popular sites Uber exec: We want to become the 'one stop' transportation app 'What a dumb hearing,' says Democrat as Congress grills tech companies on conservative bias Amazon shares rebound, report says Prime Day sales jumped 89 percent in first 12 hours of the event How to put your medical history on your iPhone in less than 5 minutes Investment chief: Watch these two big events in 2018 Even with Netflix slowing, the market rally is likely not over Cramer: Netflix subscriber weakness debunks the 'sky's the limit' theory on the stock Netflix is looking at watch time as a new area of growth, but the competition is stiff Why Nobel laureate Richard Thaler follows Warren Buffett's advice to avoid bitcoin Rolls-Royce is developing tiny 'cockroach' robots to crawl in and fix airplane engines After Netflix plunge, Wall Street analysts forecast just tame returns ahead for the once high-flying FANG group Roku shares rise after analyst raises streaming video company's price target due to customer growth China is investing 9 times more into Europe than into North America, report reveals Amazon says US Prime Day sales 'so far bigger than ever' as glitch is resolved Netflix is on pace for its worst day in two years US lumber producers see huge opportunity, rush to expand San Francisco to consider tax on companies to help homeless Homebuilder sentiment, still high, stalls as tariffs, labor and land drive up costs Powell backs more rate hikes as economy growing 'considerably stronger' Netflix history is filled with big stock declines – like today – followed by bigger rebounds Intel shares get downgraded by Evercore ISI due to rising competition from Nvidia, AMD Petco aims to reinvent the pet store with something you can't buy online Genetic testing is coming of age, but for consumers it's buyer beware Tech 'FAANG' was the most-crowded trade in the world heading into the Netflix implosion, survey shows Netflix weak subscriber growth may indicate a 'maturity wall' that could whack the stock even more: Analyst This chart may be predicting the bull market's demise Wall Street says Netflix's stock plunge is a ‘compelling’ buying opportunity because the streaming giant ‘never misses twice’ Tesla sinks after Musk tweets, again Boeing announces new division devoted to flying taxis Stocks making the biggest move premarket: NFLX, UNH, GS, AMZN, WMT & more Deutsche Bank downgrades Netflix, but says big subscriber miss is not 'thesis changing' IBM is experimenting with a cryptocurrency that’s pegged to the US dollar North Korea and Zimbabwe: A friendship explained Virgin Galactic spinoff Orbit to launch rockets from the UK with space deal Artificial intelligence will create more jobs than it destroys? That’s what PwC says ‘Treasonous’ Trump and ‘Putin’s poodle:' Scathing headlines follow the Trump-Putin summit China’s fintech companies offer ‘enormous’ opportunity, investment manager says Trump's performance at summit with Putin was 'unprecedented,' experts say Walmart and Microsoft link up on cloud technology as they both battle Amazon European stocks seen mixed amid earnings; Fed’s Powell to address Congress How I knew I should quit my day job and run my start-up full-time: Viral website founder China's stocks have been trounced, but the trade war may ultimately be good news for those shares Billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel bets on crypto start-up Block.one Asian shares subdued open after mixed close on Wall Street; energy stocks under pressure Amazon cloud hits snags after Amazon Prime Day downtime Netflix isn't doomed by one quarter unless people start questioning the long-term investor thesis Tech stocks set to sink on Tuesday after rough evening for ‘FANG’ Netflix plummets after missing big on subscriber growth This wristband lets humans control machines with their minds The U.S. has a rocky history convincing Russia to extradite computer criminals Amazon suffers glitches at the start of Prime Day Jeff Bezos is now the richest man in modern history 'The United States has been foolish': Read Trump and Putin's full exchange Goldman Sachs recommends these 5 highly profitable companies — including Nvidia — to combat rising inflation Goldman Sachs releases 'tactical' stock picks for this earnings season Three red flags for Netflix ahead of its earnings report The bond market may be raising recession fears, but don't expect one anytime soon Cramer: Banks are 'making fortunes' but are still as hated as they were during the financial crisis Putin told Trump at summit: Russia never meddled in US election


Express Scripts boots another online pharmacy — CareZone — from its network

Two years after Express Scripts, the giant pharmacy manager, threatened to remove PillPack from its nationwide network, the company is doing the same thing to CareZone, a venture-backed start-up that delivers medications to customers’ doors.

It’s a troubling trend for emerging companies that rely on large pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which sit between insurance providers and pharmacies and help determine the drugs that insurers will cover and at what price.

The PillPack controversy in 2016 was over a contract dispute, with Express Scripts claiming the company misrepresented itself as a mail-order pharmacy when it was actually a retail pharmacy. Express Scripts, which health insurer Cigna has agreed to buy for $67 billion, is now making the same claim against CareZone, as well as accusing the start-up of shipping medicines to states where it isn’t licensed to operate.

Without a PBM, pharmacies like CareZone generally can’t accept insurance to cover customers’ drug purchases.

CareZone, led by ex-Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz and backed by investors including Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, disputes Express Scripts’ assertions and says it has licenses in all 50 states. Schwartz told CNBC that CareZone would lose about 900 customers if Express Scripts goes through with its plans, hurting many low-income patients in rural areas who are battling multiple chronic illnesses.

Schwartz informed patients of the coming change by email last week and included a link they could use to contact Express Scripts and lodge a complaint. In the frequently asked questions section of its website, CareZone said the effective date of the change is July 13, and that it’s “working to resolve this issue with Express Scripts.”

The PillPack disagreement was resolved within weeks, though the companies declined to disclose terms of the agreement. Express Scripts generates about 45 percent of its revenue from the home delivery of prescription drugs and is the largest PBM.

“It takes PBMs a while, but once they see something that is gaining traction and poses a threat to their mail-order pharmacy business, they often move swiftly to clamp down,” said Stephen Buck, a drug supply chain expert who previously co-founded drug comparison site GoodRx.

As of the July termination date, CareZone customers will be unable to access medicines at a lower rate using their insurance and will have to transfer to another pharmacy that partners with Express Scripts and can deliver to the home.

Brian Henry, a spokesman for Express Scripts, said the company conducted a thorough review before making the decision and added that patients have plenty of options for affordable drugs.

Using a template provided by CareZone, numerous customers have written formal complaints against Express Scripts to the Department of Justice, arguing that the company will be depriving them of choice.

“I, and others who live in more rural locations, rely on CareZone Pharmacy to organize and dispense medicines that are delivered to me at my home,” reads a complaint that was obtained by CNBC. “I rely on both the pharmacy’s pill packaging and CareZone’s smartphone application to make sure I follow my physician’s orders, take my medicines as prescribed, and stay out of the hospital.”

CareZone has hired Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, the law firm led by David Boies, to represent its interest in the matter.

While CareZone customers may feel the impact, George Hill, an analyst at RBC, disagrees with the argument that Express Scripts is instituting the change to squelch competition. He estimates that mail-order accounts for 40 percent of Express Scripts’ earnings, but that CareZone makes up a very small fraction of its home delivery business. He said Express Scripts actually wants more partners reaching a broader set of customers and helping them take their medications.

“They straddle both sides of this,” said Hill, who has a “buy” rating on the stock. “CareZone is not significant from a competitive perspective.”

Schwartz, who started CareZone in 2012 with a medication management app, later moved into drug delivery through a separate legal entity — CareZone Pharmacy Services — as customers began to ask for it. The pharmacy business owns two brick-and-mortar retail locations, one in Tennessee and one in California.

CareZone, the digital service, partners with CareZone Pharmacy as well as other large pharmacy chains. About 20,000 people use the pharmacy service, Schwartz said.

He also said that CareZone Pharmacy isn’t a mail-delivery business. Patients designate CareZone as their “agent” by signing an electronic consent form to pick up medicines on their behalf and drop them off just as any other caregiver would. That could be by courier, car delivery or through the mail.

CareZone has raised $150 million in total venture financing. Schwartz likens the pharmacy business to Uber, which isn’t a taxi company but connects drivers with riders.

Henry takes issue with the analogy. He said that Express Scripts has mail-order contracts with other pharmacies and isn’t ending its relationship with CareZone because of its business model. The problem, he said, is that CareZone has been violating their agreement and acting primarily as a mail-order business.

“If they’re going to compare themselves to Uber, we’d agree,” Henry said. “They’re like an Uber self-driving car that has no idea where it¹s going.”

Source: Tech CNBC
Express Scripts boots another online pharmacy — CareZone — from its network

Comments are closed.