Proven Savings with Real-Time Prescription Benefits

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CVS Health’s real-time prescription benefits solution helps lower member out-of-pocket costs. Powered by our proprietary engine Script Intelligence™, we can offer actionable, up-to-the-minute, member-specific plan information across multiple points of care – at the doctor’s office, at the pharmacy and at the member’s fingertips – and provide visibility to lower cost, clinically appropriate brand and generic alternatives.

When members switch medications using real-time prescription benefits, they are saving an average of $120 to $130 per fill.

The solution also helps improve the member and provider experience by streamlining the prescribing process and getting more affordable medications to members faster.

For more of the actionable ideas, strategies and expertise we provide payors to help lower drug costs and improve health outcomes, visit CVS Health Payor Solutions

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A $100M Commitment to Improve Community Health

A $100M Commitment to Improve Community Health
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Building healthier communities | Dad helping child on bike inside heart logo.

Helping people on their path to better health is the purpose behind everything we do at CVS Health. And with a presence in nearly 10,000 communities nationwide, we understand that fulfilling that purpose starts locally, with care that’s both affordable and easily accessible.

By combining with Aetna, we are bringing together a unique set of capabilities and resources to improve the health of communities across the United States. We’re doing this not only through the introduction of innovative new tools and services, but also with meaningful investments at the local level.

A Focus on Community-Level Health

To help us deliver on this goal, we’ve launched the Building Healthier Communities initiative, a five-year, $100-million commitment to support critical programs and partnerships with local and national nonprofit organizations.

“Our new commitment builds upon the exemplary track records of CVS Health and Aetna in supporting community-based organizations to ensure they have the most effective tools, resources and solutions to accelerate the improvement of health care for individuals and families across the country,” said Larry Merlo, CVS Health President and CEO, who announced the initiative during a speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on January 14.

Building Healthier Communities will be funded by our newly combined company, as well as the CVS Health Foundation and the Aetna Foundation and will focus on initiatives and programs in three categories:

Improving Local Access to Affordable Quality Care

Recognizing the importance of ensuring that neither cost nor location are a barrier to care, in 2006, we launched Project Health, which provides no-cost comprehensive health assessments. Since its founding, the program has delivered more than $127 million in free health care services to nearly 1.7 million Americans.

As part of the Building Healthier Communities initiative, our Project Health campaign will expand to target more underserved and underinsured communities beginning in 2019.

In addition, we will continue to invest in local community health programs and organizations, providing grant funding in 2019 to more than 100 free clinics and community health centers.

Impacting Public Health Challenges 

Chronic disease, opioid abuse and youth tobacco use are all issues that adversely affect the health of many Americans, each and every day.

The Building Healthier Communities initiative will work to tackle these public health challenges through:  

Partnering with Local Communities

Understanding and combatting public health issues and disparities that are unique to individual communities are also critical to affecting change. Through Building Healthier Communities we will:

  • Support the Healthiest Communities rankings, a groundbreaking report that evaluates the health of nearly 3,000 communities nationwide and identifies the best approaches for improvement.
  • Continue to support, through the CVS Health Foundation and the Aetna Foundation, community-based organizations that address public health.
  • Pledge a minimum $10 million in value of volunteer hours each year by CVS Health and Aetna employees to create healthier, more sustainable communities.
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CVS Health Research Institute Provides More Evidence that Broader Prescription Drug Coverage Improves Health Outcomes

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., Jan. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --A new analysis by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) Research Institute, published on-line first in the American Journal of Public Health, shows that enhanced prescription drug insurance can improve patient health outcomes and reduce use of other, often costly, health care services.

"This review confirms the central role that effective prescription drug insurance can play as policymakers seek mechanisms to reduce rising health care costs in the United States," said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health and a study author. "Our analysis indicates that while expanding insurance benefits may lead to initial cost increases, these costs should be offset by future reductions in spending associated with preventable patient morbidity and mortality."

The authors conducted a systematic review of 23 studies that investigated prescription drug insurance changes between 1990 and 2013 and reported on associated health care use and patient health outcomes. Patients with government-sponsored drug insurance were the primary population studied. Across the reviewed research studies, the authors observed a consistent link between drug insurance and improved patient health status. For example, when drug insurance programs were enhanced or expanded, more patients were able to afford important medications enabling them to access and adhere to prescription medicines for chronic conditions. This, in turn, decreased costly complications and overall health care use, including hospitalizations from unmanaged or under-managed conditions. Several studies also showed a negative impact on patient health outcomes when insurers placed burdensome caps on drug benefits.

"As we continue to work towards balancing cost and quality in the U.S. health care system, this analysis suggests that policymakers should consider strategies other than limiting drug insurance," said the study's lead author, Aaron S. Kesselheim, M.D. Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and faculty member in the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women's Hospital. "These could include strategies aimed at increasing the accessibility of essential prescription drugs, such as timely availability of generic alternatives and policies designed to improve medication adherence."

Many public and private insurers are taking steps to control rising health care costs. For example, some state Medicaid programs in recent years have enacted prescription drug restrictions by placing caps or limits on the number of prescriptions a patient can fill each month. The results of this systematic review of past studies suggests that restricting the availability of prescription drugs or prohibiting access could have collateral negative effects on patients' health and may not produce the expected cost-savings. They also suggest that economic calculations of Medicaid expansion have not taken into consideration the reduction in costs from the prevention of complications when millions of Americans previously without drug insurance are able to access important medicines to better manage chronic conditions.

The CVS Health Research Institute is focused on contributing to the body of scientific knowledge related to pharmacy and health care through research collaborations with external academic institutions, participation in federally-funded research, analysis and sharing of CVS Health data sources and coordination of pilot programs and initiatives. CVS Health Research Institute findings support a continuous quality improvement environment, which encourages product innovation and development to benefit CVS Health patients, clients and their members.

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,800 retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, 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 www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contacts

Erin Shields Britt
CVS Health
(401) 770-9237
erin.britt@cvscaremark.com

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

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To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cvs-health-research-institute-provides-more-evidence-that-broader-prescription-drug-coverage-improves-health-outcomes-300019299.html

SOURCE CVS Health

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CVS Health Raises Concerns about the Potential Impact of New Class of Cholesterol Drugs on the Health Care System

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., Feb. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) weighs in on the next chapter in the debate about the impact of expensive drugs on the health care system in a commentary that appears today on the Health Affairs blog. Currently in development, PCSK9 (proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin 9) enzyme inhibitors could successfully treat millions of Americans with high cholesterol, but at great cost to the health care system. The authors describe the real challenge is not the cost per dose, but the large eligible patient population and the duration of chronic treatment, which could span decades.

"With the launch of Sovaldi to treat hepatitis C in 2013, we saw a first glimpse of the impact of high-priced specialty drugs that serve patient populations in the millions, but that was just the tip of the iceberg," said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. "Like the hepatitis C treatments, PCSK9 inhibitors represent a significant advance in treating intractable diseases convenient and highly effective with few side effects but they also pose a much more complex financial dilemma since, unlike the hepatitis C treatments which offer a cure in as little as 12 weeks, PCSK9 inhibitors will be prescribed as ongoing maintenance therapy for the duration of patients' lives."

Several pharmaceutical manufacturers are currently developing PCSK9 inhibitors, which are projected to gain FDA approval by mid-2015. Injected once or twice a month, evidence from clinical trials suggests they are well-tolerated and highly effective in reducing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol. Many believe these medicines will first be indicated for familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic form of high cholesterol affecting approximately 620,000 Americans. Yet, there is a growing interest in additional patient subgroups where PCSK9 inhibitors may be appropriate, including for patients who are intolerant to statins, those who have more severe cases where statins are not effective, and those with a history of coronary artery disease. As a result, as many as 15 million Americans could eventually be considered candidates for this new class of drugs once approved.

Estimates of annual pricing for PCSK9 inhibitors are in the range of $7,000-$12,000. Even if PCSK9 inhibitors are indicated for a very narrow patient population, cost estimates show that this new class of drugs will eclipse initial costs of Sovaldi seen at its launch. In addition, PCSK9 inhibitors are biologics, so there will not be a simple pathway to cheaper generics for at least a decade.

"High cholesterol is one of the most prevalent conditions in the developed world and with primary prevention of high cholesterol as the eventual target for manufacturers, PCSK9 inhibitors will likely be the highest selling class of medications in history," added William Shrank, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, CVS Health and co-author of the blog post. "With a robust pipeline of expensive specialty drugs this is just the beginning, and the resilience and ability of our health care system to absorb such high costs will be tested if rigid cost control mechanisms are not put in place."

The authors suggest that careful managed care oversight and compliance with clinical guidelines will be paramount to helping control health care costs once these drugs are approved. They also note that ideally this new class of drugs should spur discussion about the use of scarce resources on the behalf of patients and build consensus in the health care industry around how to approach the pricing of new specialty medicines that impact large patient populations.

At CVS Health, the company approaches specialty drug cost management with a comprehensive offering of tools to manage and control rising trend while ensuring quality of care and access for patients. These include strategic price negotiations at an enterprise level combined with aggressive formulary management, exclusive networks, total patient care coordination and identifying the most effective site of care.

About CVS Health
CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through our 7,800 retail pharmacies, more than 900 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with nearly 65 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, we enable people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, 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 www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact:

Erin Shields Britt

Christina Beckerman

CVS Health

CVS Health

(401) 770-9237

(401) 770-8868

erin.britt@cvscaremark.com

christina.beckerman@cvscaremark.com

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To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/cvs-health-raises-concerns-about-the-potential-impact-of-new-class-of-cholesterol-drugs-on-the-health-care-system-300036676.html

SOURCE CVS Health

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CVS Health and IBM Tap Watson to Develop Care Management Solutions for Chronic Disease

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. and ARMONK, N.Y., July 30, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced they will use predictive analytics and Watson cognitive computing to transform care management services for patients with chronic disease.

The partnership will enable health care practitioners, including those across the CVS Health enterprise, to use Watson to advance care management beyond programs and services typically available today. Watson's cognitive computing capabilities interact in natural language, read and understand vast amounts of information, and continuously learn. The offering would enable health care practitioners to quickly and easily gain insights from an unprecedented mix of health information sources such as medical health records, pharmacy and medical claims information, environmental factors, and fitness devices to help individuals stay on track with their care and meet health goals.

The joint CVS Health/IBM Watson Health solution will be optimized for use across a wide range of chronic conditions. Chronic diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity are the leading cause of death and disability in the U.S. and represent 86 percent of the nation's $2.9 trillion in annual health spending.[[1],[2]] The resulting offering will be made available to insurers and other entities serving the employer and health plan market and will focus on:

  • Helping to predict individuals at risk for declining health who may benefit from proactive, customized engagement programs;
  • Encouraging patients to adopt safe and healthy behaviors, including adherence to prescribed medicines and healthy lifestyle regimens; and
  • Suggesting appropriate use of cost-effective primary care and out-patient providers.

The partnership brings together IBM's Watson Health Cloud and cognitive computing capabilities with both companies' expertise in predictive analytics and patient engagement. CVS Health also brings strong insights into medication adherence and pharmacy care.

"CVS Health and IBM are both committed to improving health and finding ways to engage individuals in their well-being through the use of information and technology," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, EVP and Chief Medical Officer for CVS Health. "This partnership will enable us to leverage advanced technologies and key health information to develop a tool that can be applied by a variety of health care providers such as pharmacists, nurse practitioners at MinuteClinics or connected health care providers, and that can help our pharmacy benefit management clients improve member health and manage cost."

"The capabilities of the IBM Watson Health Cloud, when coupled with CVS Health's insights into medication utilization and patient behavior, could prove transformative for the industry," said Mike Rhodin, senior vice president, IBM Watson. "Improving care for people with chronic conditions supports IBM's commitment to make big plays that advance the health and well-being of the global community. Through the recent acquisitions of Phytel, Explorys, and Curam we also bring extraordinary capabilities in patient engagement and population health, enabling us to deliver a powerful solution that supports individuals wherever they are, whenever they need it."

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its 7,800 retail drugstores, nearly 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, 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 www.cvshealth.com.

IBM Watson: Pioneering a New Era of Computing

Watson is the first commercially available cognitive computing capability representing a new era in computing. The system, delivered through the cloud, analyzes high volumes of data, understands complex questions posed in natural language, and proposes evidence-based answers. Watson continuously learns, gaining in value and knowledge over time, from previous interactions. With the help of Watson, developers and partners are building apps and services that harness the power of cognitive computing to transform industries, help professionals do their jobs better, and solve important challenges.

IBM continues to build on its strengths in cognitive computing, analytics, security and cloud with IBM Watson Health and the Watson Health Cloud platform. The unit is helping improve the ability of doctors, researchers and insurers to innovate by surfacing new insights from the massive amounts of personal health data being created daily. The Watson Health Cloud allows this information to be de-identified, shared and combined with a dynamic and constantly growing aggregated view of clinical, research and social health data, while protecting the privacy and security of individuals.

Learn more about this story at: http://asmarterplanet.com/blog/2015/07/how-watson-can-help-tackle-chronic-disease.html

For more information on IBM Watson Health, visit: ibm.com/watsonhealth

Check out the IBM Watson press kit at: http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/presskit/27297.wss

Join the conversation at #ibmwatson and #ibmwatsonhealth. Follow Watson on Facebook and see Watson on YouTube and Flickr.

[1] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014). Health Expenditures. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/health-expenditures.htm
[2] The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d). Chronic Disease and Health Promotion. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/index.htm

Contacts

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

Christine Douglass
IBM
(415) 535-4479
cdouglass@us.ibm.com

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CVS Health Research Institute Encourages Reconsideration of Current Cholesterol Management Guidelines as New Class of High-cost Drugs Hit the Market

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., Aug. 10, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In a commentary published online first today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) Research Institute experts encouraged the cardiology community to review and reconsider current treatment guidelines for the management of high cholesterol.

As a new class of high-cost cholesterol lowering drugs, known as PCSK9 inhibitors, comes to market, current American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association (ACC/AHA) guidelines, could complicate treatment choices and inhibit utilization management tools to manage costs.

"As PCSK9 inhibitors become available, the current cholesterol management guidelines do not provide clarity as to how these expensive new medications could fit in the treatment paradigm, potentially resulting in some scenarios where a prescriber could consider a PCSK9 inhibitor for a low-risk patient," said Dr. William H. Shrank MD, MSHS, Chief Scientific Officer at CVS Health. "There is a need for consensus around management strategies for patients with high cholesterol given that the cost differential between proven older therapies and this new class of drugs is substantial. In fact, if used broadly, PCSK9 inhibitors would likely be the most costly class of medications we've seen thus far."

In 2013, ACC/AHA guidelines abandoned the longstanding principle that physicians should treat patients to a specific cholesterol target based on their cardiovascular risk and instead recommended more aggressive management of cholesterol with high-dose, high-potency medications if a patient was at elevated risk for cardiovascular disease. The guidelines were established when statins, a highly effective, low-cost treatment option, were the primary treatment for high cholesterol and the only treatment with proven improved outcomes, so budgetary effects of the guidelines on patients and payors was limited. However, the CVS Health authors write that there is likely to be substantial enthusiasm about PCSK9s in the marketplace and caution that the current guidelines do not provide clarity on how to choose the best evidence-based therapy to achieve cost-effective clinical outcomes.

"As we work to encourage cost-effective use of these new cholesterol-lowering medications for our PBM clients, guidelines that incorporate specific LDL targets would be important to help determine where PCSK9 inhibitors best fit," added co-author Troyen A. Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer at CVS Health. "Given the changing market dynamics, we are encouraging an evaluation of treatment guidelines that will provide clear guidance for clinicians and will also enable effective utilization management programs to help control health care costs while achieving desired health outcomes."

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Praluent® (alirocumab), the first PCSK9 inhibitor, for treatment of high cholesterol in July 2015 and approval of a second therapy is expected soon. In the U.S., more than 73 million adults have elevated LDL-C, a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, a leading cause of death and disability. Praluent will cost more than $14,000annually per patient and will most likely be taken chronically, for the duration of a patient's life, amplifying strain on the health care system. The FDA advisory panels, which met earlier in the year, noted the lack of outcomes data for this new class of medicines and the need for more broad evaluation to assess potential adverse effects, and large-scale clinical trials are under way that will provide greater insight into the long-term clinical outcomes.

The CVS Health Research Institute is focused on contributing to the body of scientific knowledge related to pharmacy and health care through research collaborations with external academic institutions, participation in federally-funded research, analysis and sharing of CVS Health data sources and coordination of pilot programs and initiatives. CVS Health Research Institute findings support a continuous quality improvement environment, which encourages product innovation and development to benefit CVS Health patients, clients and their members.

To read the commentary in JAMA, click the following link: http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?doi=10.1001/jama.2015.10017

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its 7,800 retail drugstores, nearly 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, 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 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

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CVS/pharmacy Providing Comprehensive Health Care Coverage Support to Consumers Both In-Store and Online

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), today announced a comprehensive range of health insurance tools, resources and information to help people learn about their health care coverage options and enroll in a Medicare Part D, Health Insurance Marketplace or Medicaid plan that's right for them. Medicare Part D annual enrollment begins October 15, 2015 and runs through December 7, 2015. The enrollment period for Marketplace plans is November 1, 2015 to January 31, 2016.

CVS/pharmacy's enhanced Health Insurance Information Center (www.cvs.com/healthinsurance, or in Spanish at www.cvs.com/segurodesalud) is a one-stop online destination for customers with health insurance questions related to Medicare Part D, Marketplace and Medicaid health coverage. On the website, consumers can easily find information about Medicare Part D coverage options, determine their eligibility, and find and compare Part D plans. They can also use the Health Insurance Marketplace Calculator on the website to get an estimate of their eligibility for subsidies and how much they could spend on health insurance in the Marketplace. An online listing of in-store insurance informational events being held at select CVS/pharmacy locations nationwide is also available.

"Ensuring that consumers can easily access information to help them make choices about health insurance coverage that is right for their individual needs is part of our purpose of helping people on their path to better health," said Josh Flum, executive vice president of pharmacy services at CVS Health. "By providing resources in our stores and on our new comprehensive online Health Insurance Information Center, CVS/pharmacy is making health insurance information available whenever or wherever people choose to access it."

CVS/pharmacy will offer convenient access to local and national health insurance plan materials in both English and Spanish in over 7,500 locations nationwide. In addition, more than 12,000 events will be held in select CVS/pharmacy stores across the country during the open enrollment periods, during which health insurance representatives will be available to provide Medicare Part D and Marketplace plan information directly to consumers.

Health insurance representatives from various Marketplace plans will also participate in select Project Health events. Project Health, CVS/pharmacy's annual free health screening campaign, is being held over the next four months at select CVS/pharmacy stores in multicultural communities across 20 markets.

In addition, Health and Wellness Events will be held at select CVS/pharmacy locations in Los Angeles and New Jersey during the Medicare Part D annual enrollment period and in Atlanta, Dallas, Houston and Indianapolis during the Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment period. These events will provide customers with one-on-one access to health plan representatives, pharmacists, nutritionists and fitness instructors.

Customers can find more information about CVS/pharmacy's in-store events at www.cvs.com/healthinsurance or www.cvs.com/segurodesalud.

About CVS/pharmacy
CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with over 7,800 locations. It is the first national pharmacy to end the sale of tobacco and the first pharmacy in the nation to receive the Community Pharmacy accreditation from URAC, the leading health care accreditation organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. CVS/pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS/pharmacy and CVS Health is available at www.cvshealth.com.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Michael DeAngelis
(401) 770-2645
mjdeangelis@cvs.com

Amy Lanctot
(401) 770-2931
alanctot@cvs.com

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SOURCE CVS/pharmacy

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CVS Health Research Institute Study Shows that Home Infusion Care Improves Patient Outcomes and Quality of Life While Reducing Overall Costs

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., May 4, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study by the CVS Health Research Institute found that home infusion care is safe, clinically effective and improves quality of life while reducing health care costs when compared to infusion care delivered in a hospital or clinic. The findings underscore the value of home infusion services where medication is delivered intravenously in a patient's home for the health care system, including patients and payers. The study was published in Healthcare: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation.

"As the U.S. health care payment system shifts from volume to value, we are focused on identifying new approaches to health service delivery that provide better care and improve patient outcomes while lowering costs," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, study author and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. "Our research shows that home infusion care is a promising model that is both cost- and clinically-effective and is overwhelmingly preferred by patients when intravenous therapy is required."

Researchers conducted a systematic review of existing peer-reviewed research evaluating infusion care for several conditions, including cystic fibrosis, antibiotics following orthopedic surgery and several cancers requiring infused chemotherapies. Researchers compared measures of quality, safety, clinical outcomes, quality of life and costs of home infusion services to those provided in medical settings. The research showed that patients receiving intravenous therapy at home had as good or better clinical outcomes as those patients who received the same therapy in a traditional health care setting. In addition, patients overwhelmingly preferred receiving their infusion therapies at home, reporting fewer disruptions in personal schedules and responsibilities. The costs associated with home infusion were also consistently lower than services provided in a health care facility, with savings ranging between $1,928 and $2,974 per course of treatment.

"At CVS Health, we provide important home infusion services to patients through Coram, which is just one of the ways we are expanding our clinical delivery model and helping to move important health services to lower cost sites of care," added Alan Lotvin, MD, Executive Vice President, CVS Specialty. "In fact, our patients report high satisfaction with our Coram home infusion services, citing convenience and comfort as key elements that improved their overall experience."

Home infusion services are a rapidly growing delivery model in the health care system with rising rates of chronic and acute conditions that require intravenous therapy. Despite this, clinical outcomes and quality of care have not previously been systematically evaluated. While many commercial health plans provide comprehensive coverage for home infusion services, Medicare has limited reimbursement for this type of care, and Congress is discussing how to implement a comprehensive home infusion benefit for Medicare beneficiaries.

Coram, a service provided by CVS Health, provides vital infusion care and support to tens of thousands of Americans each month with a range of conditions including immune deficiencies, rheumatoid arthritis and serious infections requiring intravenous antibiotic therapy. Care is administered by experienced infusion nurses and pharmacists, and in addition, patients receive additional disease management education and support throughout their treatment.

The CVS Health Research Institute is focused on contributing to the body of scientific knowledge related to pharmacy and health care through research collaborations with external academic institutions, participation in federally-funded research, analysis and sharing of CVS Health data sources and coordination of pilot programs and initiatives. CVS Health Research Institute findings support a continuous quality improvement environment, which encourages product innovation and development to benefit CVS Health patients, clients and their members.

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) 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

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SOURCE CVS Health

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CVS Pharmacy Introduces ScriptPath Prescription Schedule for Patients

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., Oct. 4, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), today introduced its new ScriptPath Prescription Schedule for retail pharmacy patients who manage multiple prescription medications. The ScriptPath Prescription Schedule features all of a patient's current CVS Pharmacy prescription information in one place including which medications the patient takes, when the patient should take them, and how much of each medication should be taken in each dose. Using easy to understand icons, the new schedule was designed to improve patient understanding and enhance patient safety by simplifying how patients take medications and how caregivers give them.

"Fifty percent of patients struggle with understanding how and when to take their prescription medications, and for those with complex prescription regimens it can be even more challenging," said Troyen Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. "By providing them with a clear and concise dosing schedule, which incorporates all of their current CVS Pharmacy prescriptions and reduces the number of times a patient takes medication each day, we can help improve medication adherence and, ultimately, health outcomes."

The Prescription Schedule is the first offering in the company's ScriptPath prescription management system. Other tools, including a new prescription vial label, are expected to roll out in early 2018. The ScriptPath Prescription Schedule is the latest in a wide array of pharmacy care tools that CVS Pharmacy is offering patients to help with medication management and improve medication adherence. The schedule is generated by a robust scientific system, created by CVS Pharmacy, that automatically reviews all of a patient's current CVS Pharmacy prescription information and prescribers' instructions, and then, using clinical data, provides a schedule of the most effective times of day to take the medications.

Available in English and Spanish, the ScriptPath Prescription Schedule is available at all of CVS Pharmacy's more than 9,700 retail pharmacy locations nationwide, upon request. Because the Prescription Schedule will be most helpful to the more than nine million CVS Pharmacy patients who take more than five medications each day, those patients will be offered a consultation with the store pharmacist when they pick up their prescriptions. The pharmacist will review the Prescription Schedule and the information it provides.

"At CVS Health, we are committed to helping people on their path to better health. One of the main ways we can do that is to help our patients remain adherent to their medications," said Kevin Hourican, Executive Vice President, Pharmacy Services, CVS Pharmacy. "Patients who take their medications as prescribed have better health outcomes than those who do not. By providing our patients with the personalized information and guidance needed to manage their medications, and most importantly, making it easier to understand and follow prescribers' directions, we can help them remain adherent and better maintain their overall health."

Prescription information that is highlighted on the new ScriptPath Prescription Schedule includes:

  • Personalized prescription information for the individual patient, including how much medication to take and when to take it
  • Medications separated into sections for Routine, As Needed and Other medications
  • Clear refill instructions for easy refills
  • Notes section for further personalization and to facilitate face-to-face pharmacist counseling

The ScriptPath Prescription Schedule provides a dosing schedule that maximizes the effectiveness of medications and simplifies complex medication regimens, taking into account the individual patient's current CVS Pharmacy prescriptions.

CVS Health partnered with Deborah Adler, a designer known for her past work on Target's ClearRx prescription packaging system, to ensure all of the elements of the new ScriptPath prescription management system were easy for patients to read and to understand. Adler, the inventor and lead designer of the new ScriptPath system, worked with the CVS Health team to develop the easy-to-understand icons and an intuitive layout for each of the ScriptPath offerings.

"I am excited to have collaborated with CVS Health on its ScriptPath prescription management system," said Deborah Adler, Owner of Adler Design. "We are delivering a simpler, more effective way for people to take their medicine. Design matters in health care and this is a powerful example of how design can play a key role in changing behavior and improving health outcomes."

For more information on the ScriptPath prescription management system, including the Prescription Schedule, visit www.cvs.com/prescriptionschedule.

About CVS Pharmacy

CVS Pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), is America's leading retail pharmacy with 9,700 locations. It is the first national pharmacy to end the sale of tobacco and the first pharmacy in the nation to receive the Community Pharmacy accreditation from URAC, the leading health care accreditation organization that establishes quality standards for the health care industry. CVS Pharmacy is reinventing pharmacy to help people on their path to better health by providing the most accessible and personalized expertise, both in its stores and online at CVS.com. General information about CVS Pharmacy and CVS Health is available at www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact

Amy Lanctot
CVS Pharmacy
401-770-2931
Amy.Lanctot@CVSHealth.com

SOURCE CVS Pharmacy

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CVS Caremark Research Finds Eliminating Medication Copays Post-Heart Attack Can Improve Health Outcomes for Non-White Patients

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., May 5, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study by researchers at CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS), Aetna and Brigham and Women's Hospital published today in the May issue of Health Affairs, finds that eliminating copays for preventive medications prescribed for post-heart attack patients, can significantly improve medication adherence and health outcomes for non-white patients. The analysis suggests that this approach may be an effective strategy for reducing commonly recognized disparities in cardiovascular care related to patient ethnicity and race.

Racial and ethnic disparities in cardiovascular care have been widely documented in the peer-reviewed literature and persist despite overall improvements in cardiovascular mortality and risk factor control. In fact, research by CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) and Brigham and Women's Hospital published last year in The American Heart Journal, found that non-white patients had 50 percent greater odds of medication non-adherence to statin medications compared to white patients.

"A series of studies have demonstrated that a Value Based Insurance Design (VBID) approach that reduces or eliminates medication copays is a cost-effective strategy for increasing adherence and improving cardiovascular outcomes," said Niteesh K. Choudhry, MD, PhD, associate physician, Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, associate professor, Harvard Medical School and the lead author of the study. "This new analysis demonstrates that VBID can also reduce disparities in cardiovascular care and health outcomes related to a patient's race and ethnicity."

The Post-Myocardial Infarction Free Rx Event and Economic Evaluation (MI FREEE) trial conducted by Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Aetna (full results of which were previously published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011) originally compared full (i.e., no copayments, coinsurance or deductibles) with usual drug insurance coverage for all statin, beta-blockers, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors (ACEIs) and angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) prescribed after a heart attack. In this new, secondary analysis, the researchers reviewed the data to see whether providing full coverage for post-MI medications had differential effects based on race and ethnicity. More than 2,300 individuals were included in the analysis of which 22.2 percent self-identified as being of non-white race/ethnicity.

The study found that:

  • For all patients, full coverage significantly improved medication adherence.
  • Providing full drug coverage significantly reduced rates of a post-MI major vascular event or revascularization among patients who self-identified as being non-white, but had no impact on clinical events for individuals of white race or ethnicity.
  • Providing full drug coverage reduced total health care spending by 70 percent among patients who self-identified as being non-white.

"There have been a lot of studies demonstrating that disparities in care exist. This study shows us a straightforward way to reduce those disparities and improve health outcomes. We think this is an important contribution," said William H. Shrank, MD, MSHS, senior vice president and Chief Scientific Officer of CVS Caremark, and a study co-author. "We should note that the value based insurance design approach of eliminating copayments for maintenance medications after a heart attack is actually a relatively simple, low-risk change that should be considered for broader usage."

CVS Caremark's VBID program offering is aimed at removing the barrier of cost to help improve the medication adherence of members. There are currently more than 100 clients enrolled in the program that targets seven chronic conditions. The program is able to provide an increase of 4-9 percent in adherence (as measured by medication possession ratio) and more than 10 percent improvement in moving members with sub-optimal adherence to optimal adherence in certain cardiovascular diseases.

This analysis of medication adherence and the impact on racial and ethnic disparities was supported by an unrestricted research grant from Aetna to Brigham and Women's Hospital. CVS Caremark has been supporting a multi-year research collaboration with Brigham and Women's Hospital to better understand patient behavior, particularly around medication adherence. Annual excess health care costs due to medication non-adherence in the U.S. have been estimated to be as much as $290 billion.

About CVS Caremark

CVS Caremarkis dedicated to helping people on their path to better health as the largest integrated pharmacy company inthe United States. Through the company's more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores; its leading pharmacy benefit manager serving more than 60 million plan members; and its retail health clinic system, the largest in the nation with more than 800 MinuteClinic locations, it is a market leader in mail order, retail and specialty pharmacy, retail clinics, and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As a pharmacy innovation company with an unmatched breadth of capabilities,CVS Caremarkcontinually strives to improve health and lower costs by developing new approaches such as its unique Pharmacy Advisor program that helps people with chronic diseases such as diabetes obtain and stay on their medications. Find more information about howCVS Caremarkis reinventing pharmacy for better health at info.cvscaremark.com.

Media Contact:
Christine Cramer
CVS Caremark
(401)770 3317
christine.cramer@cvscaremark.com

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