Large coalition of private employers creates pharmaceutical benefits management company


A nonprofit coalition of nearly 40 private employers, including U.S. retailers Walmart and Costco, announced Monday it has started a new business that will provide pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services to employers.

As the COVID-19 pandemic takes a heavy toll on people’s emotional and physical well-being, companies have sought to expand their offerings to support their employees.

EmsanaRx, the PBM unit of the Purchaser Business Group on Health (PBGH) coalition, will provide employers with a fixed price per prescription as well as advice from a clinical pharmacist account manager.

PBMs act as intermediaries between drug manufacturers, health insurance plans and pharmacies to negotiate the prices of prescription drugs.

PBGH is the majority owner of Emsana Health, the company that will house the PBM unit. The group also includes Boeing Co. and Microsoft Corp. among its members.

San Francisco-based PBGH has been helping large employers and other healthcare consumers for more than three decades access better quality care and lower costs.

“For the first time, employers will have their own data and have the information, tools and clinical resources dedicated exclusively to their unique needs and patient populations,” said Greg Baker, who would lead EmsanaRx.

Cigna Corp’s Evernorth and UnitedHealth Group’s Optum unit are among the largest providers of PBM services in the United States. The healthcare conglomerate CVS Health Corp also has a PBM business.

(Reporting by Amruta Khandekar; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

Editor’s Note: Members of the PBGH coalition behind EmsanaRX include: AAA, Albertsons, Activision, Boeing, CalPERS, Caltech, Chevron, Cisco, Costco, First Republic Bank. Hewlett Packard, Intel, McKesson, Microsoft, PG&E, Pitney Bowes, Qualcomm, Robert Half, Salesforce, Tesla and Walmart.

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