The pharmacy benefit management industry is the kind of behind-the-scenes business that never gets much publicity, so Jim DuCharme’s leadership of Prime Therapeutics normally would draw little notice beyond insider health care circles. But when you’re successful enough to construct a new 400,000-square-foot office facility in Eagan, folks get the message that you’ve done a pretty good job. Under DuCharme’s watch, Prime’s revenues have grown to approximately $5 billion while serving 17 Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans. The company was expecting to take occupancy of its new digs late in 2018.
Drugs are expensive, and Jim DuCharme, the recently named president and CEO of prescription benefit manager Prime Therapeutics, says he’s on a mission to tame what he calls the “runaway freight train of rising drug costs.” Pharmacy costs are a big driver of that equation, and in August, DuCharme announced that St. Paul-based Prime, owned by the nation’s 14 Blue Cross Blue Shield health plans, had forged a strategic alliance with Walgreens in a bid to promote prescription-filling operating efficiencies. He has called for “strong and decisive action” to rein in drug costs, and 2017 will likely bring more initiatives from Prime.