Plus, the latest pharmacy and healthcare news to know this week.
Walmart will soon start selling insurance policies through its new agency, Walmart Insurance Services LLC. The company also recently partnered with startup PBM Capital Rx to provide transparency around specialty and mail-order prescription pricing.
Why It Matters
Walmart’s moves further cement the retail giant’s position in the healthcare industry, beyond the retail space. With Walmart Insurance, which it filed with the Arkansas Secretary of State last month, the company will likely sell Medicare Advantage plans, according to MedCity News. A statement from a company spokeswoman presented it as a natural extension of its current insurance services, which include providing access to insurance information and an education program to help patients find plans.
Walmart’s partnership with Capital Rx, on the other hand, makes the startup PBM the first company to provide price transparency around retail, specialty, and mail-order prescriptions. Capital Rx provides upfront unit costs for medications to its employer and health plan clients. As specialty drugs become a significant part of overall drug spend, the company is hoping to bring some consistency to pricing.
Other healthcare news to know:
1. Confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. passed 3 million this week as more states see surges. Reuters.
2. Walgreens plans to open doctor’s offices at hundreds of its drugstores in the U.S. Wall Street Journal.
3. Thirteen national pharmacy groups are urging HHS to ensure pharmacists can provide COVID-19 vaccines when they become available. Drug Store News.
4. The International Pharmaceutical Federation is providing a free resource to help pharmacists implement vaccination services. Drug Store News.
5. Over 200 scientists are urging the WHO to acknowledge that coronavirus can spread in the air. AP News.