Large Private Employer Coalition Creates Pharmacy Benefit Management Firm

A nonprofit coalition of nearly 40 private employers, including U.S. retailers Walmart and Costco, said on Monday it has launched a new company that would offer pharmacy benefit management (PBM) services for employers.

With the COVID-19 pandemic weighing severely on people’s emotional and physical wellbeing, companies have been looking to broaden their offerings to support their employees.

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

PBMs serve as intermediaries between drug manufacturers, health insurance plans and pharmacies to negotiate prescription drug prices.

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

San Francisco-based PBGH has been assisting large employers and other healthcare consumers for over three decades in getting access to higher quality care and reducing costs.

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

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


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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