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Express Scripts enhances strategies to support access to care at independent pharmacies

Based on guidance from its Independent Pharmacy Advisory Committee, Express Scripts will collaborate with CPESN ® USA through its IndependentRx initiative

ST. LOUIS, May 23, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefits services business of The Cigna Group's (NYSE: CI) Evernorth, is making it easier for people to access a broader range of care services at independent pharmacies. This new collaboration with CPESN® USA, a network of pharmacy providers that deliver health services, is a direct result of guidance from the organization's Independent Pharmacy Advisory Committee, which includes 38 pharmacists from all regions of the United States and is led by former independent pharmacy owner, Stephanie Smith Cooney, Pharm.D, senior director of independent pharmacy affairs at Express Scripts.

(PRNewsfoto/Express Scripts)
(PRNewsfoto/Express Scripts)

"Local pharmacies are the doorway to essential health care for many people, and independent pharmacies are critical to closing gaps in care for many communities," said Adam Kautzner, Pharm.D, president of Evernorth Care Management and Express Scripts. "This collaboration with CPESN USA represents a meaningful step forward as we advance on our commitment to deepen relationships with independent pharmacists and remove barriers to quality care at the community level."


Initially, efforts with CPESN USA will focus on enhanced care services for Medicare beneficiaries living with hypertension and diabetes, with plans to expand to additional capabilities and offerings. It's estimated that diabetes affects roughly one in five Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years and up, and 64% of people with Medicare fee-for-service report to have a diagnosis of hypertension. CPESN pharmacies will provide enhanced care, including coordination with other health providers to address care gaps, identification of at-risk people paired with pharmacist-led interventions, and informed medication management and optimization. CPESN USA's network of over 3,500 pharmacies in 44 states also adds new options for care delivery within the Express Scripts retail pharmacy network.

"CPESN pharmacies have proven their ability to improve the health of the patients we serve while reducing overall healthcare costs," said Alison Haas, Pharm.D., owner of a CPESN pharmacy in Jackson Center, Ohio, and director of value based contracting for CPESN USA. "We are looking forward to the upcoming collaboration with Express Scripts and are hopeful to quickly bring additional opportunities to our pharmacy providers and, in turn, improve the health of our mutual patients."

"It is critical that independent pharmacy perspectives are heard and considered across the pharmacy services industry," emphasized Cooney. "Our Independent Pharmacy Advisory Committee provides a forum for this dialogue, and has already produced impactful changes, including this collaboration with CPESN USA, which will elevate independent pharmacists' work and allow them to focus on providing people with the best care possible."

These actions are the latest in Express Scripts' IndependentRx Initiative, which seeks to strengthen pharmacists' essential role in delivering care. Last year, as part of the organization's commitment to expanding access to care while supporting small businesses, Express Scripts invested millions of dollars to increase reimbursements for independent pharmacies that serve rural communities.

About Evernorth Health Services 
Evernorth Health Services creates pharmacy, care and benefits solutions to improve health and increase vitality. We relentlessly innovate to make the prediction, prevention and treatment of illness and disease more accessible to millions of people. Evernorth capabilities are powered by our businesses, including Express Scripts, Express Scripts® Pharmacy, Accredo, eviCore and MDLIVE, along with holistic Evernorth platforms and solutions that move people and organizations forward. All Evernorth solutions are serviced and provided by or through operating affiliates of Evernorth Health, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Cigna Group (NYSE: CI), or third-party partners. Learn more at

Justine Sessions


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SOURCE Express Scripts