Magazine article Drug Topics

Diversified: Integrating Pharmacy and Other Information

Magazine article Drug Topics

Diversified: Integrating Pharmacy and Other Information

Article excerpt

When drug manufacturer SmithKline Beecham decided this past Spring to buy Diversified Pharmaceutical Services (DPS) from United Healthcare, Minneapolis, it's possible it got the best of the three big PBM-manufacturer deals in the past year.

Why? Because despite its smaller number of covered lives, compared with PCS' and Medco's totals, DPS' ability to manage the pharmacy care of its covered lives may be the most advanced in the PBM business.

DPS has 14 million full-service covered lives, all of which are on formulary-based plans, said DPS president Henry Blissenbach. The formulary is 'closed' for about 60% of those covered lives, he added. A closed formulary means that patients must get their drugs dispensed from the formulary, while an open formulary allows for dispensing from a wide variety of drug choices.

In addition, while all the PBMs are scrambling develop databases that integrate patients' pharmacy information with patient information from physicians and other health providers, DPS appears to be the furthest along in that effort. Because DPS has been developed within the context of a health maintenance organization, United HealthCare, it has experience integrating patient information from both the physician side and the pharmacy side. …

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