PharmaCare Applauds CMS for Finalized Medicare Drug Benefit Rule

Friday, January 21, 2005


LINCOLN, R.I., Jan. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- PharmaCare, a subsidiary of CVS Corporation (NYSE: CVS), announced today it is encouraged by the timely release of the final rule on the Medicare Modernization Act's Part D, just published by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), which will provide a comprehensive drug benefit for seniors effective January 1, 2006.

Part D of the Act -- signed into law in 2003 -- is designed to help Medicare beneficiaries with their drug costs. The first stage of the assistance is a transitional drug discount card program, of which PharmaCare is a Medicare-approved participant. The second stage will provide all Medicare beneficiaries access to prescription coverage administered primarily through private drug plans.

"Part D is a groundbreaking benefit for our nation's seniors who will now have access to prescription drug coverage, and we applaud the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services for finalizing the rules for this important legislation," said Greg Weishar, President and CEO of PharmaCare.

Since the drug benefit will not begin until next January, the Medicare drug discount card program was created to provide immediate relief to seniors in the interim. PharmaCare is one of the approved national programs to offer a drug discount card to Medicare beneficiaries. The company's program, called myPharmaCare, has saved members an average of $19.68 per prescription, and was named by a recent AARP Public Policy Institute study to be one of the best at delivering lower drug prices.

"We are pleased to be among the providers who are helping to control drug costs for seniors," said Weishar, "and we will continue working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to identify how we can best support the new drug benefit and deliver more prescription coverage to those who need it most."

The myPharmaCare card is accepted at all 5,300 CVS/pharmacy stores in 36 states and the District of Columbia and more than 51,500 additional pharmacies across the country. Enrollment information is available by calling 1-800-601- 3002 or by visiting