Public Health

CVS Health Makes Overdose-Reversal Drug Available Without A Prescription At All CVS Pharmacy Locations in Nevada

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12.14.16

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Dec. 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) announced today that the opioid overdose-reversal medication naloxone is now available without a prescription at all CVS Pharmacy locations in Nevada. CVS Health has established a standing order with physicians in Nevada that allows CVS Pharmacy to expand access to the medication across the state.

"Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by expanding access to this medication in our Nevada pharmacies by the use of a physician's standing order for patients without a prescription, we can help save lives," said Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS Pharmacy. "We are dedicated to helping the communities we serve address and prevent drug abuse and we are expanding access to naloxone to give more people a chance to get the help they need for recovery."

The move to expand access to naloxone builds on CVS Health's longstanding commitment to help communities address and prevent drug abuse through education, outreach and safe medication disposal. CVS Health's commitment to drug abuse prevention education extends from online resources for patients visiting CVS.com to a commitment to youth prevention programs. Launched in 2015, CVS Health's Pharmacists Teach program gives its pharmacists the opportunity to volunteer to speak to local students about the dangers of drug abuse. More than 150,000 students have already been part of the program. The CVS Health Foundation is also working with DoSomething.org to create a peer-to-peer prevention and intervention program delivered to young people via text message and online.

CVS Health has also joined with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to create the Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, which has donated more than 600 drug disposal units to police departments around the country. The program gives members of the community a safe and environmentally friendly way to dispose of unwanted medication and has already collected more than 47 metric tons of prescription drugs.

"CVS Health has been a leader in the work of helping communities prevent prescription drug abuse," said Marcia Lee Taylor, President and CEO, Partnership for Drug-Free Kids. "In addition to proper disposal of unwanted medication, increasing access to naloxone is a critical public health priority that allows patients and their families to prevent opioid fatalities and recognize when people need help working towards recovery from the disease of addiction."

With the addition of Nevada, CVS Pharmacy now dispenses naloxone in a total of 37 states: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

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 www.cvshealth.com.

Media Contact:

Erin Shields Britt
Corporate Communications
(401) 770-9237
Erin.Britt@CVSHealth.com

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SOURCE CVS Health

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CVS Health Research Institute Data Provides First Look at Rapid Uptake of New Hepatitis C Treatments and an Expanding Population of Treated Patients

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12.18.14

WOONSOCKET, R.I., (December 18, 2014) – The CVS Health Research Institute today released a first look at the comparative utilization of two new hepatitis C treatments in the weeks following their respective launches. The analysis shows an increase in the number of eligible hepatitis C patients being treated following the October launch of Harvoni® (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir), the newest hepatitis C treatment. Uptake for Harvoni is approximately 2.5 times the rate of Sovaldi® (sofosbuvir) prescribing during the weeks following Sovaldi’s launch in December 2013. In addition, the data shows there has been minimal reduction in Sovaldi use following the launch of Harvoni, suggesting an expansion in the pool of patients being treated, rather than Harvoni being used as a substitute for Sovaldi.

“The high price of these new hepatitis C treatments and the expanding pool of patients receiving treatment signal a growing and costly trend in treating chronic medical conditions with specialty medicines,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health who co-authored the report. “Hepatitis C is just the beginning, and we need to prepare now for the time when large numbers of patients could be treated effectively with high-cost medicines for a variety of common and more complex conditions.”

The report analyzes de-identified CVS/caremark data and compares Harvoni prescriptions to Sovaldi prescriptions during the eight weeks post-launch for each treatment. Data shows that the number of Harvoni prescriptions (>7,500) were approximately 2.5 times higher than Sovaldi prescriptions (>3,000) during the post-launch period for each drug. Moreover, the authors find that Sovaldi use since the introduction of Harvoni has only declined modestly. The new data suggests that the number of eligible patients being treated for hepatitis C is expanding overall with each therapy continuing at high utilization rates.

“As new therapies enter the market, particularly in categories such as hepatitis C where treatment costs are high, CVS Health is focusing on strategies to control costs while improving patient health outcomes,” said Alan Lotvin, M.D., executive vice president of CVS/specialty at CVS Health. “These will include utilization management and formulary approaches to ensure the most cost-effective, clinically appropriate therapy. We also provide comprehensive, patient-centered support to maximize the successful completion of therapy.”

With the ongoing impact of expensive specialty medications on payers’ budgets, CVS/caremark and the company’s specialty pharmacy have activated a number of tools to manage cost while ensuring patient health outcomes. For hepatitis C therapy, CVS/caremark coordinates utilization management and prior authorization strategies to drive evidence-based decision-making. These tools help identify patients who will best respond to therapy in order to optimize efficacy and reduce unnecessary costs. In addition, thoughtful formulary placement plays an important role. As new and equally effective treatments from other manufacturers are expected to enter the market shortly, aggressive negotiation on price combined with the development of formulary tiers or exclusions can help manage costs for payers.

CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy also provides patient-centered care through our Specialty CareTeams. These CareTeams include clinicians with disease-specific expertise along with embedded disease management nurses who address the patient’s overall condition, including co-morbidities, lifestyle concerns and counseling on any non-specialty prescriptions the patient is using. CVS Health also makes it easier for patients to start on therapy with Specialty Connect, a program that allows patients who present specialty prescriptions at any CVS/pharmacy store to receive centralized benefit guidance and CareTeam support from CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy.

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.

For more detail on the data, please visit the following link: www.cvshealth.com/HCV-utilization-trends

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

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

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

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CVS Health Announces Data from Smoking Cessation Outreach on One-Year Anniversary of Decision to Stop Tobacco Sales

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02.05.15

WOONSOCKET, R.I., February 5, 2015 – On the one-year anniversary of its decision to stop tobacco sales, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) released new data showing that its messages about the importance of quitting smoking for good are reaching millions of Americans and that its smoking cessation program is providing personalized counseling and smoking cessation products, when appropriate, to hundreds of thousands more. This outreach reflects CVS Health’s commitment to helping people on their path to better health by becoming tobacco-free.

“One year ago, we knew that removing cigarettes and tobacco products from our stores would not be enough on its own to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our customers and patients who smoke,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “We believe our combined efforts of eliminating pharmacy-associated access to tobacco products, and a devoted smoking cessation program through our channels will help our patients on their path to better health.”

CVS Health’s innovative smoking cessation program combines the elements that are the most effective smoking cessation components: an assessment of the smoker’s readiness to quit, medication support, coaching and education.

“The combination of medication and coaching is powerful and can nearly double quit rates,” Brennan added. “Our 26,000 pharmacists and nurse practitioners are playing a key role in helping us implement this program.”

From the smoking cessation program launch on September 3, 2014, through December 2014, CVS pharmacists counseled more than 67,000 patients filling a first prescription for a smoking cessation drug or prescription nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and consulted with thousands more smokers seeking advice about over-the-counter NRT products. Prescriptions for smoking cessation medications have increased by 63 percent on a monthly basis in the timeframe and visits to MinuteClinic for smoking cessation counseling were up 61 percent compared to the prior eight months.

CVS/pharmacy also offered ready access to over-the-counter NRT products that assist smokers trying to quit. Purchases of these products increased 21 percent in September through December over the previous four months. Additionally, customers picked up 2.3 million tobacco cessation brochures at CVS/pharmacy and thousands of “Last Pack” encouragement toolkits, reaching millions of additional smokers with education, information and support.

Smokers also sought out quitting support through a Smoking Cessation Hub on www.cvs.com which neared one million visits through December. Approximately 25,000 smokers completed Nicotine Dependency Quizzes during these website visits and more than 2,500 of them followed up with calls to a smoking quit line (1-844-265-4321) operated by the American Cancer Society for additional support and access to services in local communities.

“The hard work of quitting smoking is worth it because there are many health benefits,” commented Helena Foulkes, President, CVS/pharmacy. “Approximately seven in ten smokers say they want to quit and about half attempt to quit each year. But challenges still exist, including the fact that fewer than half of smokers report being advised to stop smoking. Through our continuing efforts we hope to change that.”

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:

Carolyn Castel

Corporate Communications
(401) 770-5717
Carolyn.Castel@CVSHealth.com

Mike DeAngelis

Corporate Communications
(401) 770-2645
mjdeangelis@cvs.com

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CVS Health Foundation Commits $5 Million to Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

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02.05.15

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Feb. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --The CVS Health Foundation today announced a $5 million five-year commitment to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids to launch its new "Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free" grant program. Through the program, the CVS Health Foundation will partner with Tobacco-Free Kids to provide grants to organizations committed to implementing public health strategies to reduce youth tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.

"The CVS Health Foundation is committed to helping people lead tobacco-free lives and working toward the goal of making the next generation tobacco-free," said Eileen Howard Boone, President, CVS Health Foundation. "We are proud to partner with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the leaders in youth tobacco awareness, prevention and advocacy, through this grant program to empower youth and provide them with the resources needed to reduce tobacco use among young people."

The "Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free" grant initiative will support programs that help to reduce youth tobacco use, especially among at-risk populations, educate the public about the problem of and solutions to youth tobacco use in local communities and increase youth engagement in tobacco prevention activities. The first grant recipients will be announced on Kick Butts Day, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and mobilize their communities on youth tobacco issues, which will be held this year on March 18, 2015.

"Together with the CVS Health Foundation, we hope we can raise even more awareness of the serious problem of tobacco use that virtually always begins with youth and accelerate progress toward our shared vision of a tobacco-free generation," said Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "This innovative partnership comes as we mark one year since the announcement that CVS/pharmacy locations would no longer sell tobacco products, demonstrating the ongoing commitment of CVS Health and its Foundation to continue to help people live tobacco-free."

February 5th marks the one-year anniversary of CVS Health's announcement that it would stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,800 CVS/pharmacy locations. This made CVS/pharmacy the first national pharmacy chain to take this very important step in support of the health and well-being of its patients and customers. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids has publicly urged retail and pharmacy outlets to end tobacco sales and shares CVS Health's commitment to help millions of Americans quit smoking and help those who don't smoke to never start.

About the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world. Our vision: A future free of the death and disease caused by tobacco. We work to save lives by advocating for public policies that prevent kids from smoking, help smokers quit and protect everyone from secondhand smoke.

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 atwww.cvshealth.com.

CONTACT:

Erin Shields Britt
(401) 770-9237
Erin.Britt@cvscaremark.com

Peter Hamm
Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
202-296-5469
PHamm@TobaccoFreeKids.org

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SOURCE CVS Health Foundation

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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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02.17.15

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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SOURCE CVS Health

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CVS Health Foundation Announces Grant Awards to Reduce Youth Tobacco Use

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03.18.15

WOONSOCKET, R.I., March 18, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The CVS Health Foundation, a private foundation created by CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), today announced the first four grant recipients in its "Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free" grant program a five-year, $5 million partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. This announcement coincides with Kick Butts Day, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids' national day of activism that empowers youth to stand out, speak up and mobilize their communities. The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids is a leading force in the fight to reduce tobacco use and its deadly toll in the United States and around the world.

"We're excited to celebrate Kick Butts Day by showing our commitment to helping young people lead tobacco-free lives in partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids," said Eileen Howard Boone, President of the CVS Health Foundation. "We are proud to support the dedicated work of these grantees who share our goal to educate young people about the dangers of tobacco in the hopes of making the next generation tobacco-free."

Every day, more than 2,800 kids under the age of 18 nationwide try smoking for the first time, and 2.7 million high school students in the United States still smoke. Through the "Making the Next Generation Tobacco-Free" grant program, the CVS Health Foundation and Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids aim to reduce youth tobacco use, especially among at-risk populations, educate the public about the problem of and solutions to youth tobacco use in local communities and increase youth engagement in tobacco prevention activities. The first group of 2015 grants awarded today includes:

BREATHE California of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA
BREATHE California plans to reach approximately 8,000 third- to eighth-grade students throughout Los Angeles County as part of the "No to Tobacco" prevention program, which focuses on underserved populations. The program includes educational modules on lung health, the cost of tobacco, and providing youth with the confidence and skills they need to lead a tobacco-free life.

California School-Based Health Alliance, Oakland, CA
California School-Based Health Alliance will increase the capacity of school-based health centers (SBHC) to implement youth-led tobacco prevention programs and educate kids throughout California. Currently, 10.5 percent of high school students in California smoke and 21,300 kids under the age of 18 become daily smokers each year. With this grant, California School-Based Health Alliance plans to provide training for SBHC staff and reach 2,000 youth with tobacco-prevention education.

Health Promotion Council of Southeastern PA, Philadelphia, PA
Health Promotion Council of Southeastern PA plans to expand its Advocacy Institute (AI), which provides training for youth-led public health advocacy. The expansion will bring the AI into additional counties in southeastern Pennsylvania, increase membership in the AI Alumni Network and allow the council to host a Youth Leadership Summit that will train additional youth on tobacco prevention and control.

Ohio Public Health Partnership, Columbus, OH
Ohio Public Health Partnership (OPHP) plans to educate lawmakers and the public to support an increase in the Ohio tobacco tax, equalize the tax on other tobacco products and designate 12 cents of every $1.00 of the proposed tax increase for tobacco use prevention and cessation. In Ohio, 15.1 percent of high school students smoke and an additional 12,500 kids under the age of 18 become daily smokers each year. To help resolve this issue, OPHP will implement tobacco-prevention and cessation programs that target youth, pregnant women and other high-priority individuals.

"We know that most adult smokers began smoking at a very young age. Through our partnership with the CVS Health Foundation, we're one step closer to our shared mission to make the next generation tobacco-free," said Matthew L. Myers, President, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. "With the support of these grants, community partners will be able to expand the tobacco prevention resources they're able to offer local youth and activate youth to reduce tobacco-use."

Last year, CVS Health announced that all CVS/pharmacy locations across the country would stop selling tobacco products and launched a smoking cessation program that has since helped more than 67,000 patients quit smoking. In addition, since the company's tobacco announcement, CVS Health has announced more than $1 million in grants to tobacco cessation organizations and launched a 5-year, $5 million partnership with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids through the CVS Health Foundation.

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

Eva Pereira, for CVS Health
(781) 559-0424
eva.pereira@rfbinder.com

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SOURCE CVS Health Foundation

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CVS Health Research Institute Study Finds Smoking Cessation Programs with Financial Incentives Increase Rates of Quitting and Staying Smoke-free

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05.13.15

WOONSOCKET, R.I., May 13, 2015 A new study by the CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) Research Institute and researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, finds that employer-sponsored smoking cessation programs with financial incentives are associated with higher rates of quitting smoking and sustained abstinence. Findings of the study, conducted among a sample of CVS Health colleagues and their relatives and friends, helped shape an innovative smoking cessation program for CVS Health colleagues that will launch in June 2015.

“More than 50 years after the release of the first Surgeon General’s report on the harmful effects of tobacco, smoking still remains the leading cause of preventable illness and death in the U.S. While as a society, we have made significant strides in curbing rates of smoking, there is still a clear opportunity to make an even greater impact,” said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, executive vice president and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health and a study co-author. “As we think about novel approaches to smoking cessation, these findings provide evidence that financial incentives can be a powerful motivator.”

The researchers randomly assigned approximately 2,500 CVS Health colleagues and their family and friends to one of four incentive-based smoking cessation programs or to usual care, which consisted of informational resources and free access to a behavioral-modification program and nicotine-replacement therapy. Across all of the incentive-based programs, participants were eligible for up to $800 for successfully quitting smoking but the programs differed in how incentives were accrued and disbursed. Two of the programs required participants to pay an upfront deposit of $150, which was reimbursed if participants successfully quit smoking. Overall, study participants who enrolled in any of the four incentive-based programs were nearly three times more likely to quit smoking than those who received usual care alone. In addition, although participants assigned to the groups requiring an upfront deposit were more likely to decline participation than those in the pure incentive-based programs, deposit programs led to nearly twice the rate of abstinence from smoking at six months among people who would have accepted either type of program.

“This study is one of the first to compare incentive programs that first require deposits and programs that entail pure rewards to promote healthy behaviors,” added Scott D. Halpern, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and lead author of the study. “The results are fully consistent with the behavioral theory that people are typically more motivated to avoid losses than to seek gains. Although the need to make monetary deposits deters some people from participating, deposit-requiring incentive programs can produce robust, long-term results in helping to change complex health behaviors.”

As part of CVS Health’s purpose of helping people on their path to better health, CVS Health will launch 700 Good Reasons, an innovative smoking cessation program for its colleagues who smoke or use tobacco of any kind. Set to launch next month, the program was developed based on key learnings and insights gained from this new research in order to create an incentive program that would both encourage participation and result in sustained success in quitting smoking. Program participants are required to pay a $50 deposit and can earn up to $700 as well as a refund of their full deposit if they commit to quit and are successful. The financial incentives will be paid to participating employees who test tobacco-free at six and 12 months. In addition, those enrolled will also be encouraged to participate in CVS/minuteclinic’s Start to Stop® smoking cessation program which offers a personalized quit plan, nicotine replacement therapy and support to help stay on track.

“Last year, we made a commitment as a company to be tobacco-free as we strive to fulfill our purpose of helping people on their path to better health and that includes our colleagues,” said Lisa Bisaccia, executive vice president and Chief Human Resources Officer, CVS Health. “The research we conducted with the University of Pennsylvania provided us with important information about what can motivate and help our colleagues stop smoking. We are excited to offer this innovative program to our colleagues who want to quit smoking as we foster a healthy workplace and workforce.”

CVS Health stopped selling tobacco products in all CVS/pharmacy locations in September 2014 to support the health and well-being of its patients and customers.

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.

The study was also supported by a grant from the National Cancer Institute (CA159932) and a grant from the National Institute on Aging (AG036592).

For more detail on the data, please visit the following link: http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1414293

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 Contact

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

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

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Boston Medical Center Teams Up with Rhode Island Hospital, CVS Health to Address Use of Pharmacy-Based Naloxone to Combat Opioid Addiction and Overdoses

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08.10.15

BOSTONBoston Medical Center (BMC) has received a $1.3 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to support a demonstration project of pharmacy-based naloxone rescue kits to help reduce opioid addiction and overdose death in two New England States: Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The study will be conducted in partnership with Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, CVS Health, based in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, which has pharmacies throughout the U.S., and several local community pharmacies in both states, including Massachusetts-based Eaton Apothecary.

“While education and intervention have come a long way in the past several years, there is still a lot of work to be done to reduce opioid overdose and overdose death,” said the study’s principal investigator, Traci C. Green, PhD, MSc, deputy director of the Injury Prevention Center at BMC and associate professor of emergency medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. “Pharmacies have enormous potential to expand the reach and impact of critical public health interventions, just as we have seen happen with pharmacy access to clean syringes and adult immunizations. But how do we do that with naloxone rescue kits? That’s what we intend to figure out here in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.”

In both states, pharmacists must be trained to distribute naloxone rescue kits through continuing education that covers opioid addiction, overdose risk and the benefits of appropriate use of naloxone. The study will track and analyze data from the participating pharmacies throughout the two states to develop best practices for a national pharmacy-based naloxone rescue kit program.

To address the growing opioid epidemic, hospitals and pharmacies in both states recently began providing naloxone to patients with substance use disorder and their loved ones for immediate use following an overdose. Uniquely, under a standing order from BMC’s Alexander Walley, MD, the medical director of the Massachusetts naloxone program and also a Co-Investigator on this study, state-funded community programs train and equip family, friends, and people who use opioids in overdose recognition and naloxone administration. Similar infrastructure is absent in most states, such as Rhode Island. The study will look at how pharmacies can be leveraged in both settings to increase naloxone distribution.

As a leader in addiction medicine, BMC recognized early on the need for such interventions, and in 2009, began providing overdose prevention education and naloxone rescue kits to emergency department patients at risk for opioid overdose. BMC was the first hospital in the country to provide the rescue kits to patients.

Green and Walley, in collaboration with Josiah Rich, MD, MPH, a physician at The Miriam Hospital in Providence, and Jeffrey Bratberg, PharmD, from the University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy, developed protocols for pharmacies to supply, order and provide naloxone to patients. The protocols are in place throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island pharmacies, including the 418 CVS pharmacies and all Eaton Apothecary locations in the two states. The authors will identify relevant organizational and community factors associated with successful implementation of the program to incorporate into a national program.

“In Massachusetts and Rhode Island, we have been severely impacted by the epidemic of overdose deaths,” said Rich, who also is professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. “Rhode Island Hospital is honored to partner with BMC, CVS and other local pharmacies to develop a new standard of care that we expect will prevent deaths caused by opioid overdoses.”

Drug overdose is the leading cause of injury death in the U.S., greater than car accidents. In fact, according to the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, more than 24.5 million people age 12 or older in the U.S. (9.4 percent of the population) live with substance use disorders, including 1.9 million who live with prescription opioid abuse or dependence. Each day, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 100 Americans die of drug overdose.

”CVS Health has a long-standing commitment to prevent prescription drug abuse and our participation in this demonstration project complements our ongoing efforts to expand the availability and distribution of naloxone to prevent opioid overdoses,” said William Shrank, MD, chief scientific officer of CVS Health and a study investigator. “All of our CVS/pharmacy locations in Rhode Island and Massachusetts keep naloxone in stock and it is available without a prescription. In addition, by the end of this month, CVS/pharmacy will be able to dispense naloxone without a prescription in 14 additional states.”

Naloxone can be obtained from pharmacies without a prescription in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

About Boston Medical Center

Boston Medical Center is a private, not-for-profit, 496-bed, academic medical center that is the primary teaching affiliate of Boston University School of Medicine. It is the largest and busiest provider of trauma and emergency services in New England. Committed to providing high-quality health care to all, the hospital offers a full spectrum of pediatric and adult care services including primary and family medicine and advanced specialty care with an emphasis on community-based care. Boston Medical Center offers specialized care for complex health problems and is a leading research institution, receiving more than $118 million in sponsored research funding in fiscal year 2014. It is the 11th largest recipient of funding in the U.S. from the National Institutes of Health among independent hospitals. In 1997, BMC founded Boston Medical Center Health Plan, Inc., now one of the top ranked Medicaid MCOs in the country, as a non-profit managed care organization. It does business in Massachusetts as BMC HealthNet Plan and as Well Sense Health Plan in New Hampshire, serving more than 315,000 people, collectively. Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine are partners in the Boston HealthNet – 13 community health centers focused on providing exceptional health care to residents of Boston. For more information, please visit http://www.bmc.org.

About Rhode Island Hospital

Founded in 1863, Rhode Island Hospital in Providence, R.I., is a private, not-for-profit hospital and is the principal teaching hospital of the Alpert Medical School of Brown University. A major trauma center for southeastern New England, the hospital is dedicated to being on the cutting edge of medicine and research. Last year, Rhode Island Hospital received more than $50 million in external research funding. It is also home to Hasbro Children’s Hospital, the state’s only facility dedicated to pediatric care. For more information, visit www.rhodeislandhospital.org.

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.

About the University of Rhode Island and its College of Pharmacy

The University of Rhode Island has many of today’s leading innovators, researchers and creative problem solvers. The University is known regionally and worldwide for its big ideas and pioneering research in such areas as air, water, and ground pollution; biotechnology and life sciences; engineering, marine sciences, forensic sciences, pharmaceuticals, behavioral sciences, and public health promotion. Unique interdisciplinary courses and research projects provide its 13,000 undergraduate and 3,000 graduate students with cutting-edge experiences. URI’s College of Pharmacy is located in a new, $75 million facility where faculty and students are conducting the highest quality research in pharmaceutical, biomedical, clinical and population-based sciences. The College is also going deep into the ocean and forest to find natural substances that could prevent and fight diseases. Target areas include cancer, aging, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, HIV, infectious diseases, disability and public health. The College has attracted about $61 million in National Institutes of Health funding to expand biomedical research capacity at nearly every college in the state and is playing leading roles in URI’s Interdisciplinary Neuroscience Program and the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience.

Media Contacts

Boston Medical Center – Jenny Eriksen Leary, jenny.eriksen@bmc.org, 617-638-6841

Rhode Island Hospital – Beth Bailey, bbailey@lifespan.org, 401-444-6421

CVS Health – Christine Cramer, Christine.Cramer@CVSHealth.com, 401-770-3317

URI College of Pharmacy – Dave Lavallee, dlavallee@uri.edu, 401-874-5862

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CVS Health Marks First Anniversary of Tobacco Removal With New Data on Decision’s Impact, Extends Commitment to Creating Tobacco-Free Generation

Top of the article
09.03.15

New Data Shows Reduction in Cigarette Purchases Across All Retailers

CVS Health and its Foundation Announce School-based Tobacco-prevention Program

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Sept. 3, 2015 – CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today marked the first anniversary of ending tobacco sales at CVS/pharmacy by releasing new data showing a measurable reduction in cigarette purchases over the past year. The company also announced it is renewing its commitment to creating a tobacco-free generation through a joint initiative between CVS Health, its Foundation and Scholastic to launch a school-based tobacco-prevention program.

“One year ago, we stopped selling tobacco products because it conflicted with our purpose of helping people on their path to better health,” said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. “Today, we are excited to release new data demonstrating the positive impact our decision has had on public health overall as shown by a measurable decrease in the number of cigarette purchases across all retailers.”

The study, conducted by the CVS Health Research Institute, evaluated cigarette pack purchases at drug, food, big box, dollar, convenience and gas station retailers in the eight months after CVS/pharmacy stopped selling tobacco products. The study found an additional one percent reduction in cigarette pack sales in states where CVS/pharmacy had a 15 percent or greater share of the retail pharmacy market, compared to states with no CVS/pharmacy stores. Over the same eight-month period, the average smoker in these states purchased five fewer cigarette packs and, in total, approximately 95 million fewer packs were sold.

Further bolstering the impact of CVS/pharmacy’s tobacco removal, the CVS Health Research Institute study showed a four percent increase in nicotine patch purchases in the states with a CVS/pharmacy market share of 15 percent of more, in the period immediately following the end of tobacco sales. This indicates that there was also a positive effect on attempts to quit smoking.

“We know that more than two-thirds of smokers want to quit – and that half of smokers try to quit each year. We also know that cigarette purchases are often spontaneous. And so we reasoned that removing a convenient location to buy cigarettes could decrease overall tobacco use,” Brennan said. “This new data demonstrates that CVS Health’s decision to stop selling tobacco did indeed have a real public health impact.”

The impact of CVS Health’s tobacco cessation efforts can also be measured in the reach of its pharmacists and nurse practitioners, who have worked to support customers’ efforts to quit smoking. Since September 3, 2014, the average number of MinuteClinic “Start to Stop” smoking cessation visits conducted per month nearly doubled. CVS pharmacists counseled more than 260,000 patients about smoking cessation and filled nearly 600,000 Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) prescriptions. The company also distributed millions of smoking cessation informational brochures and hundreds of thousands of “Last Pack” toolkits, and educated more than one million people via its Online Cessation Hub on CVS.com.

In the year since removing tobacco products, CVS Health also made a significant commitment to philanthropic giving and strategic partnerships, pledging more than $1 million in corporate grants to tobacco cessation and prevention programs. CVS Health and its Foundation also built on partnerships with organizations leading the fight against tobacco and supporting those living with its health consequences including Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, Stand Up To Cancer, and American Lung Association’s LUNGFORCE.

In celebration of the past year’s success, CVS Health has made new commitments to further its impact in the coming years. Today, CVS Health and its Foundation also announced a strategic initiative with Scholastic, the global children’s publishing, education and media company, to introduce a new, school-based program aimed at preventing youth smoking and teaching children about the health consequences of tobacco use.

“Over the last year, CVS Health has created partnerships with community organizations across the country that are dedicated to helping people quit smoking and communicating the importance of never starting tobacco use,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropy, CVS Health and President, CVS Health Foundation. “Today, we are proud to mark our one-year anniversary by building on our commitment to be a meaningful part of the effort to make the next generation tobacco-free. By partnering with an expert in education to launch this new program, we will reach millions of kids across the country with critical tobacco-prevention education.”

The program will reach nearly three million children in grades three, four and five when it begins this fall, with a second component offered in some pilot markets for young adults in grades six and seven to be introduced in early 2016. It will include classroom resources for teachers and students as well as take-home components that give parents the opportunity to talk to their children about smoking. The middle school component will include a student engagement program, with the chance to receive incentives such as scholarships and youth-focused community training.

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its 7,800 retail pharmacies, 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:

Erin Shields Britt
(401) 770-9237
Erin.Britt@CVSHealth.com

Carolyn Castel
(401) 770-5717
Carolyn.Castel@CVSHealth.com

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CVS/pharmacy commits to Creating Safer Communities Through Multiple Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Efforts

Top of the article
09.23.15

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Sept. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS/pharmacy, the retail division of CVS Health (NYSE: CVS), is reinforcing its longstanding commitment in the fight against the nationwide epidemic of prescription drug abuse with a number of efforts launching this month.

CVS/pharmacy has expanded the availability of the opioid overdose reversal medicine, naloxone, in several states. The medication was already available at CVS/pharmacy without a prescription in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Naloxone is now available without a prescription at CVS/pharmacy locations in 12 additional states: Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.

"Over 44,000 people die from accidental drug overdoses every year in the United States and most of those deaths are from opioids, including controlled substance pain medication and illegal drugs such as heroin. Naloxone is a safe and effective antidote to opioid overdoses and by providing access to this medication in our pharmacies without a prescription in more states, we can help save lives," said Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS/pharmacy. "While all 7,800 CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide can continue to order and dispense naloxone when a prescription is presented, we support expanding naloxone availability without a prescription and are reviewing opportunities to do so in other states."

In addition, CVS Health is currently participating in a research project with Boston Medical Center and Rhode Island Hospital to support a demonstration project of pharmacy-based naloxone rescue kits to help reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths.

CVS/pharmacy has also renewed its Medication Disposal for Safer Communities Program, in which it has teamed up with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids to donate drug collection units to police departments around the country to help their communities safely dispose of unwanted medications, including controlled substances.

"Our Safer Communities program has donated more than 400 drug collection units to local law enforcement around the country since last year, resulting in almost seven tons of unused medication being collected in our communities," said Davis. "We are pleased to continue this program with the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids and provide a permanent drug disposal solution at local police departments."

Police departments interested in receiving a drug collection unit can apply at www.cvs.com/safercommunities.

Also, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will hold National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, September 26. On that day, hundreds of CVS/pharmacy locations around the country will host local law enforcement collection events in store parking lots from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM. To locate a participating collection site, visit http://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_disposal/takeback/.

Other on-going initiatives at CVS/pharmacy to combat prescription drug abuse include:

  • Availability of postage-paid Environmental Return System envelopes at all of its pharmacies with which customers can send their unwanted medications for secure and environmentally-safe disposal.
  • Identification of physicians who exhibit extreme patterns of prescribing high risk drugs such as pain medications and suspension of dispensing their controlled substance prescriptions.
  • Advocating at the federal and state levels to implement policy changes to curb prescription drug abuse, such as mandatory electronic prescribing of controlled substances and improved prescription drug monitoring programs.

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 CONTACT:

Mike DeAngelis
mjdeangelis@cvs.com
401-770-2645

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SOURCE CVS/pharmacy

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