Surescripts ends pact with vendor to Amazon unit, citing misuse

John Tozzi

Surescripts, a company that enables electronic medication prescribing, terminated its contract with a vendor that it says improperly requested access to patients’ medication histories to give to Inc.’s PillPack subsidiary.

Surescripts, which is partially owned by two of the largest pharmacy-benefit managers, said in a statement Monday it has alerted the FBI and stopped its vendor, ReMy Health, from accessing its network.

ReMy Health didn’t immediately return a message seeking comment, and PillPack didn’t immediately have a comment. PillPack was previously warned that Surescripts might cut off its access to the data through ReMy, CNBC reported July 19, citing unnamed sources.

Surescripts accused ReMy of breaking the terms of their contract by providing information about patients’ medication history improperly. That information, which resides in Surescripts’ systems, is only supposed to be provided to medical providers when delivering care or planning a patients’ discharge, Surescripts said.

Arlington, Virginia-based Surescripts is owned by associations of pharmacies and chain drug stores as well as Cigna Corp. and CVS Health Corp.

“Either ReMy Health or its customers concealed unauthorized access to the Surescripts network by fraudulently using third-party providers’ identifying information to access the system – even though those providers appear to be entirely unrelated to the patients whose information was requested,” Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton said in the statement.

The contract termination is the latest blow in an ongoing fight between established players in the pharmacy supply chain and Amazon, which threatens to disrupt it. Amazon’s $1 billion purchase of PillPack last year sent shares of drug store chains like CVS Health and Walgreens Boots Alliance tumbling.

CVS has sued to enforce a noncompete agreement to keep one of its former executives from joining PillPack.