Express Scripts' supply chain lessons learned from COVID-19

Express Scripts
We caught up with an Express Scripts executive to discuss lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Express Scripts)

As Cigna's Evernorth expands the capabilities under its umbrella, the company is finding new solutions to address waste in the healthcare system.

That work has become even more critical in the wake of COVID-19, which led to significant supply chain challenges, said Matt Perlberg, senior vice president of supply chain at Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefit management arm of Evernorth.

"I would say the last 15 months have certainly proven to be quite a testing group for removing waste from the supply chain while making sure that we're able to continue to drive affordability as well as better outcomes," Perlberg said in an interview with Fierce Healthcare.

Amid the pandemic specifically, the PBM ran into challenges with drug supply.

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Perlberg said digital tools allow it to track availability to ensure patients can continue to get the drugs they need. The pandemic also led to a surge in demand for certain products that the team had to manage, he said.

"We have a series of very sophisticated algorithms," he said, "and we're able to monitor and watch supply all across the world."

Here's more from our conversation: