Biotech and Pharma

Express Scripts CEO sees Amazon as a potential pharmacy partner

Key Points
  • Express Scripts CEO Tim Wentworth welcomes Amazon's consideration to make a push into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market.
  • He also cautions that lowering consumer prices is not "the magic" of selling prescriptions online.
  • Wentworth would not confirm whether Express Scripts is talking with Amazon about a partnership.
Express Scripts CEO: Pharmacy-benefit manager model never needed more than now

Express Scripts had a word of caution for Amazon as it weighs its push into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market.

"What [Amazon] will see is the magic isn't in lower net prices to consumers. It's getting the right drug to consumers and helping them navigate the system — all things we've built a business over 30 years to do," Express Scripts CEO Tim Wentworth told CNBC on Thursday.

CNBC reported in May that Amazon was hiring in an effort to figure out how to break into a market, which Wentworth called highly competitive. While not a done deal, Wentworth said he is "confident" Amazon is examining an entrance, "as they should be."

Wentworth said he sees Amazon more as a potential partner, rather than as a threat to Express Scripts' current share of the market.

"We have a tremendous e-commerce business with almost $30 billion in mail-service prescriptions being done with digital interfaces," Wentworth said.

He said 85 percent of Express Scripts' prescriptions are filled out online. But when asked whether he was talking to Amazon, Wentworth dodged the question.

"We talk with all kinds of folks all the time, and I won't talk about any particular set of conversations," Wentworth added.

—CNBC's Christina Farr and Meg Tirrell contributed to this report.