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PBMs build networks of pharmacies to provide consumers convenient access to prescriptions at discounted rates.

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Across the U.S., there are four types of pharmacies:

Chain pharmacies

Regional pharmacies, including grocers and large consumer goods retailers

Independent pharmacies, of which a majority contract with pharmacy services administrative 
organizations (PSAOs) owned by large wholesalers 

Mail-order and online pharmacies, commonly known as home delivery

annual total prescription volume across the U.S. pharmacy landscape.
A patient consults with a pharmacist

Express Scripts works to make sure that every consumer has convenient access to medicines at the lowest available cost.

Clients choose the networks that work best for them and the unique needs of their employees and populations based on geography, demographics and other key factors.

Express Scripts works to create flexible pharmacy network options—from large chain pharmacies to regional pharmacies to independent pharmacies and home delivery—that help ensure members can easily access the medications they need, when and where it’s most convenient.

Express Scripts’ pharmacy network reaches communities across the U.S.

pharmacies in our national network
states offering home delivery options
minute drive from home to an in-network retail pharmacy for nearly every member

A broad network of retail pharmacy partners

Pharmacies are offered competitive rates, and we contract with retail and home delivery—for both traditional and specialty medications—to ensure robust network coverage. Clients also have flexibility with how they pay for prescriptions dispensed to their members, including through a spread pricing model option.

Read more about spread pricing

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Our broad network of retail pharmacy partners. Retail Pharmacy Partners (2022): 32% grocers, retailers, and others partners, 33% chain pharmacies, 35% independent pharmacies
Express Scripts partners with pharmacies to drive savings and access for consumers

PBM safety checks review every prescription processed by every pharmacy in the network. This proactive approach is anticipated to help prevent an estimated 1 billion medication errors over the next 10 years.

Express Scripts continues to pioneer new ways of working with pharmacists—launching online prescribing systems that show drug-to-drug interactions and integrate benefits into pharmacy-provider workflow—which are designed to minimize the risk of medication errors.

A pharmacist speaks with a patient over the phone.

In rural areas, independent pharmacists are crucial to closing gaps in care created by a shortage of doctors and other medical professions paired with the closure of almost 200 hospitals in recent years. Independent pharmacists often can close those gaps as the front lines of care in their local communities.

Understanding the crucial role that independent pharmacies play in care delivery, Express Scripts recently launched IndependentRx, an initiative offering increased reimbursement opportunities and additional support to rural pharmacies.

In addition, the initiative creates an Independent Pharmacy Advisory Committee to expand the role of rural, suburban and urban pharmacies in the health care system across the U.S.

Express Scripts Supports Rural Pharmacists 

Our IndependentRx makes it easier for independently-owned, rural pharmacies to offer much-needed services like vaccinations, lifestyle counseling and behavioral health screenings.

Increases reimbursements paid to rural pharmacies for the essential services they provide today and well into the future.

Establishing the industry’s first Independent Pharmacy Advisory Committee to help pharmacies everywhere better support underserved communities.

A pharmacist talks on the phone.

In addition to a robust retail pharmacy network, Express Scripts Pharmacy offers free delivery of medicines to customers in all 50 states. Express Scripts utilizes its home delivery pharmacy where:

It will generate savings for our clients and customers

It will likely lead to better health outcomes. Millions of prescriptions are dispensed each year—with greater than 99.99999% accuracy1

Home delivery creates greater patient choice in how members can get their medicines, especially for those patients who may have scheduling, transportation or other difficulties when picking up prescriptions. This is particularly helpful for those in rural areas or with limited mobility, especially during the height of COVID-19.

In 2020, Express Scripts Pharmacy saw year-over-year improvements in medication adherence—between 26% and 39%2—for people with diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and other conditions.

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Pharmacy pricing arrangements
Read more about options for our clients, including spread pricing
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