September 9, 2020

Go Local PBMs



Many local businesses forced to shut down during the pandemic started in March have suffered financial loss, or even closed permanently.

Several of my friends – also business owners – have advocated for supporting local businesses in Indiana during the pandemic. I am a fan of this.

There are several reasons why you should consider shopping locally. I love to ‘keep it local’ when I can when purchasing goods and services. For every $100 spent locally, $68-$75 remains in the local economy, as just one example.

But you can also quickly guess that keeping the dollars local also gives people jobs and steady work.

In my smaller world of pharmacy benefits, I wanted to take a second to acknowledge the local aspects of pharmacy benefits right here in Indiana. Some of the local pharmacies and PBM services are located and/or headquartered right here in the Hoosier State:

Costco – Has a pharmacy mail order fulfillment center in Jeffersonville, IN. It is one of the very few for Costco in the US. (And yes, they also have a PBM.)

Cowan Drugs – A local pharmacy chain NW of Indianapolis. (By the way – if you want to find an independent pharmacy to support, try NCPA’s independent pharmacy locator, here.)

ESI/Cigna – Of course, has its oncology and fulfillment center in Boone County/Whitestown.

Northwind Pharmaceuticals – Right here in Indianapolis, has a very unique business model.

Simple Meds Pharmacy – A local pharmacy that can fill your many prescriptions into a convenient blister pack for the month.

TrueRx – A local Indiana pharmacy benefit manager; grew out of the Williams Brothers Pharmacy Chain.

TrueScripts – Another local PBM option in Washington, IN.

Of course, all national chain pharmacies with stores in Indiana have hired your local pharmacist to serve you. But, I think it’s important to acknowledge, support, and go local whenever we can, and especially right now during a pandemic.

If you manage pharmacy benefits at your company or any healthcare benefits for your employees, here’s an opportunity for you: the next time you meet with your broker, ask them where the companies are that you’re using with your employees. Are they local? If not, should they be?