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Express Scripts Announces New Independent Pharmacy Focused Strategy


The company is collaborating with CPESN USA to bring more services to customers at independent pharmacies across the country.



The pharmacy landscape continues to evolve.

Express Scripts announced that it is collaborating with CPESN USA in order to provide easier access to a wider range of services at independent pharmacies across the United States.1 The collaboration is the result of guidance that the Independent Pharmacy Advisory Committee provided to Express Scripts. A total of 38 pharmacists from across the United States make up the committee.

Express Scripts is the pharmacy benefits service business of Evernorth, which is part of The Cigna Group.

Adam Kautzner, Pharm. D., is president of Evernorth Care Management and Express Scripts. In a press release, he said, “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. 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."

In the same press release, director of value based contracting for CPESN USA said, “CPESN pharmacies have proven their ability to improve the health of the patients we serve while reducing overall healthcare costs. 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."

Haas is also the owner of a CPESN connected pharmacy in Jackson Center, Ohio.

Senior director of independent pharmacy affairs at Express Scripts Stephanie Smith Cooney, Pharm.D., added, “It is critical that independent pharmacy perspectives are heard and considered across the pharmacy services industry. 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."

This is the latest move made by Express Scripts to improve the patient experience at pharmacies. In November of 2023, the company announced a new pharmacy network option called the Express Scripts ClearNetwork.2 This network provides users with cost-based pricing for prescription and pharmacy services. The network includes pricing options for brand name, generic, and specialty medications.

In a press release issued at the time, Kautzner said, “We are constantly innovating to provide our clients with new options that meet their needs and enable them to build custom pharmacy benefits that best support their plans and members. The Express Scripts ClearNetwork leverages our scale, relationships, and deep understanding of the pharmaceutical supply chain to create an easy-to-follow option for clients looking to simplify what they pay for prescription drugs, while supporting a seamless, convenient member experience."

He continued, “This new model differs from other pricing options where Express Scripts negotiates discounts with pharmacies to meet guaranteed rates for clients. Express Scripts ClearNetwork is a simple pricing option that reinforces the value of our work to help consumers easily access the medications they need, while also shining a light on the root cause of high drug costs–drug manufacturers who set and raise prices."


  1. Express Scripts Enhances Strategies to Support Access to Care at Independent Pharmacies. Express Scripts. May 23, 2024. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/express-scripts-enhances-strategies-to-support-access-to-care-at-independent-pharmacies-302153530.html
  2. Express Scripts Introduces New Option To Give Clients Maximum Simplicity in Drug Pricing. Express Scripts. November 14, 2023. Accessed May 24, 2024. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/express-scripts-introduces-new-option-to-give-clients-maximum-simplicity-in-drug-pricing-301986745.html
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