Rising drug prices hurt patients and lead to negative and costly outcomes throughout our health care system. For example, data show that 40 percent of patients do not pick up their prescriptions when out-of-pocket costs per prescription exceed $200.
At CVS Health, we recognize that one of the most important things we can do is to help people afford and take their medications. That’s why we’re working to improve transparency and pioneering solutions to help patients get the right medicine at the lowest possible cost.
Providing Information across Multiple Points of Care
Information about how much a drug costs is not always readily available. According to a poll sponsored by CVS Health, more than half (57 percent) of patients do not know how much a drug will cost them, and nearly as many (54 percent) believe it would be helpful to have information about the cost before they fill their prescriptions.
CVS Health is working to expand visibility into drug cost information across multiple points of care.
- At the physician’s office: Our real-time benefits technology – used by 100,000 prescribers nationwide – enables visibility into what a patient will pay for a specific drug under their benefits plan and presents up to five lower-cost, clinically appropriate alternatives for consideration by the prescriber.
- At the pharmacy counter: Our more than 30,000 retail pharmacists use the Rx Savings Finder tool to search for potential savings opportunities.
- For CVS Caremark members: About 230,000 times per month, CVS Caremark members search the Check Drug Cost tool to find lower-cost, clinically appropriate alternatives to more expensive medications.
Helping Control Costs While Promoting Better Health
As a Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM), we use every tool at our disposal to bring down drug prices. For example, we encourage the use of lower-cost, clinically appropriate generic alternatives, which data show can lead to a 3-percent decrease in overall mortality.
Keeping Costs Down for Patients, Employers and Government Programs
Our PBM strategies rein in costs across the health care system and also increase access to affordable medications for patients. While brand manufacturers have increased prices on average 9.2 percent annually from 2008 to 2016,
For more information on how CVS Health is working to expand access to more affordable and effective health care, check out our Cost of Care information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.