AARP Study Names PharmaCare's Medicare Drug Discount Card Among Best at Delivering Lower Prices

Wednesday, March 9, 2005

LINCOLN, R.I., Feb 09, 2005 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- PharmaCare, a subsidiary of CVS Corporation (NYSE: CVS), announced today that a recent AARP Public Policy Institute study found its myPharmaCare Medicare drug discount card was one of the lowest-price cards among 33 national programs.

myPharmaCare is an approved participant in the Medicare Card Drug Discount Program, which started in June 2004 to offer savings on prescription drugs to Medicare beneficiaries. The purpose of the AARP study was to determine the nature and extent of price variation among the cards for commonly used prescription medications.

The survey compared the prices of 227 drugs under each program to determine the lowest-price card for each of the medications. myPharmaCare was found to be one of the cards to most frequently offer the lowest-price drugs at the individual level, and provide the lowest average price per prescription for the medications studied.

Additionally, because Medicare beneficiaries often buy multiple drugs to treat particular diseases, the researchers also considered condition-specific drug combinations. For the six drugs frequently used to treat six chronic conditions -- osteoporosis, hypertension, acid reflux, allergies, osteoarthritis and depression -- the study found the myPharmaCare card offered the lowest total price for all the medications.

"The AARP study identifies the best choices for Medicare beneficiaries who want to pay lower prices for their medicines, and we're pleased to be rated among the top programs," said Greg Weishar, President and CEO of PharmaCare. "The rising cost of prescription drugs is a critical issue for our country's aging population and our drug discount card is one way we're helping to control expenses for those who need it most."

Since its inception, myPharmaCare has enrolled more than 59,000 members. The myPharmaCare card -- which costs $25 -- has saved members an average of $19.68 per prescription purchased at network retail or mail order pharmacies, for a total savings of $16.5 million for Medicare seniors to date.

The myPharmaCare card is accepted at all 5,000 CVS/pharmacy stores in 36 states and the District of Columbia and more than 53,000 pharmacies across the country. Enrollment information is available by calling 1-800-601-3002 or by visiting http://www.pharmacare.com.

The full AARP survey is available online athttp://research.aarp.org/health/2004_16_discount.pdf.