CVS Health CEO Larry Merlo Keynotes at 2016 AHIP Institute and Expo

Thursday, June 16, 2016

WOONSOCKET, R.I., June 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Merlo and Chief Medical Officer Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., will deliver remarks about the major public health challenges facing our country at this week's annual America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Institute and Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada. CVS Health's executives will discuss how innovation can create new models of patient care and delivery to address rising rates of chronic diseases while lowering health care costs for both payers and patients.

"Between now and 2030, the cumulative cost of chronic illness is projected to grow to $42 trillion and, despite all efforts to encourage Americans to live healthier lifestyles, we don't seem to be gaining ground," Merlo says. "I believe the way to find solutions is to look at the problems through the eyes of your customers, and at CVS Health, we are working to do just that by collaborating with stakeholders across the health care continuum including patients, caregivers, providers and payers to provide better, more cost-effective care."

In his keynote address during the AHIP General Session on Thursday, Merlo will outline innovative patient care delivery strategies that increase health care choice, quality and access with the goal of delivering better health outcomes. Examples include the expanding role of retail health clinics, such as CVS MinuteClinic, in providing high-quality care in convenient, low-cost settings and the rapid rise in on-demand digital tools that make care and disease management easier and improve overall health care delivery. In addition, Merlo will emphasize that pharmacy care is one of the most cost-effective solutions to address rising health care costs.

"In fact, increasing medication adherence for chronic diseases such as high cholesterol, diabetes and hypertension results in significant returns of five to nine times that of the additional pharmacy spend and could drive billions in costs out of the health care system," Merlo adds.

Merlo will also talk about the essential role pharmacists play as they work closely with providers, payers and patients to drive the use of the highest-value drugs, ensure patients understand how to take them, prevent errors, support patients during care transitions and intervene when prescriptions are not filled or problems arise.

In remarks during a separate presentation at the AHIP meeting on Friday, Brennan will describe how pharmacy benefits manager CVS Caremark is working to help control the cost of medicines through innovative plan design and is evolving to keep pace with a rapidly changing marketplace. He will also examine the factors impacting drug trend, including expensive specialty medicines as well as brand drug price inflation and utilization.

"The problem today is that even though clinically effective and lower cost generic alternatives are often available, we still see high brand utilization in certain categories, such as diabetes," Brennan says. "The most effective thing we can do is to move people from higher cost branded drugs to their generic alternatives, which not only aligns with clinical practice guidelines but also reduces waste, saves money and can improve health outcomes."

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 80 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contacts:

Christine Cramer
CVS Health
(401) 770-3317
christine.cramer@cvshealth.com

Christina Beckerman
CVS Health
(401) 770-8868
christina.beckerman@cvshealth.com

SOURCE CVS Health