CVS Health Announces Program to Address Drug Spending

CVS Health announced earlier this week that it is taking action to combat high drug spending in a new comprehensive program aimed at helping patients save money on medications.
Samantha DiGrande
April 14, 2018
CVS Health announced earlier this week that it is taking action to combat high drug spending in a new comprehensive program aimed at helping patients save money on medications.

Through this initiative, CVS Health is launching a new tool called the CVS Pharmacy Rx Savings Finder. The tool will allow the company’s retail pharmacists to quickly evaluate individual prescription savings opportunities at the pharmacy counter for the first time.

The tool will show pharmacy teams whether the prescribed medication is on the patient’s formulary and if it’s the most affordable available option. Using the Rx Savings Finder, the pharmacist will also be able to identify whether the patient might be able to save money by filling a 90-day prescription rather than a 30-day prescription.

“Armed with the information available through our Rx Savings Finder, our more than 30,000 CVS pharmacists can play an important role by helping patients save money on their medications, providing advice on how and when to take them, and ultimately helping them achieve better health outcomes,” said Kevin Hourican, executive vice president of retail pharmacy at CVS Pharmacy. “We are beginning this process with our CVS Caremark [pharmacy benefit manager, PBM] members and expect to roll it out more broadly throughout the year.”

In another effort to combat high drug prices, the company’s PBM, CVS Caremark, is also offering its members preventive drug lists that itemize medications for many common chronic conditions that are available with no co-pay. CVS Caremark also provides a real-time benefits program with which, at time of prescribing, providers are able to see member-specific drug costs based on formulary, along with up to 5 of the lowest-cost, clinically appropriate alternatives.

During a pilot program, CVS found that 95% of patients asked to switch drugs to a lower-cost option when given the choice, and 85% of doctors also chose to make such a switch.

 

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