John and Denise Burns
John Burns is a Chicago native. In 1984, John attended Northern Illinois University, where he lived in Stevenson South Towers during his freshman and sophomore years. He remained at Stevenson South during his junior and senior years working as a Resident Assistant (RA). John also spent three summers living at NIU, working for the university as well as painting apartments off campus. John graduated from NIU in December 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in English.
After NIU, John held jobs as a reporter for the Daily Herald in Arlington Heights, and at Northwest Memorial Hospital. In 1991, he was hired as a reporter for Crain Communications in Chicago, where he covered finance for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. In 1996, he formed Sheffield Research, a consulting firm focusing on pharmaceutical drug pricing, manufacturer and wholesaler distribution, and insurance/government contracting. During this time, John oversaw a number of whistleblower investigations filed on behalf of the federal government against pharmaceutical manufacturers and other healthcare providers. John’s efforts resulted in recoveries in excess of $1 billion from alleged overbilling, fraud, and other contract disputes
In 2008, John formed Citizens Rx—a pharmacy benefit management company formed to help employer groups and state and government health plans reduce and control rising healthcare costs. As Founder and Chief Executive Officer, John was the architect behind the strategic design and implementation of the company’s approach to controlling and reducing drug expenditures for clients throughout the US and in Puerto Rico. In 2015, Blue Cross / Blue Shield of North Carolina purchased a minority interest in Citizens Rx. John currently serves as chairman of the company’s board of directors.
Today, Citizens Rx operates in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, has offices in Chicago, St. Louis, New York, Los Angeles—and operates a state-of-the-art specialty pharmacy located in Tampa, FL. The company has more than 125 employees.
John and his wife, Denise, have four children: Matt, Tommy, Joe and Alison.