Magazine article Drug Topics

CVS Caremark Unveils New Pharmacy Model

Magazine article Drug Topics

CVS Caremark Unveils New Pharmacy Model

Article excerpt

Drug chain CVS' $26.5 billion acquisition of pharmaceutical benefit manager Caremark in early 2007 is changing the way retail pharmacy is practiced. That's the spin CVS Caremark executives put on the deal at the annual convention for America's Health Insurance Plans, held in San Francisco last month.

"We are redefining the pharmacy continuum of care," pharmacist Mitch Betses, CVS Caremark VP, health services, told AHIP. "As a combined retail pharmacy and PBM, our Proactive Pharmacy Care model enables us to inform and engage consumers in ways that are personalized, convenient, and accessible so that we can positively impact health outcomes."

CVS is combining data and resources from its 6,300 retail pharmacy outlets, 500 MinuteClinic locations, and Caremark PBM claims. The goal is to identify gaps in education and behavior at the prescriber, pharmacist, and patient levels that affect drug adherence, then act to make positive changes, explained pharmacist Asif Ally, VP, market strategy.

"Research tells us that consumers want to be engaged by their care team," Ally explained. "We can use that desire to tailor interventions that reach out to patients with messages to help them do the right thing."

About 30% of patients diagnosed with chronic conditions fail to fill their first script, said Bari Harlam, VP, marketing. Of those who fill their first script, half drop therapy during the first 12 months without ever talking to their prescriber or pharmacist. "These simple behavior gaps have a powerful impact on the course of chronic disease," Harlam said.

CVS Caremark told AHIP attendees it has developed six new programs to close those gaps. First Fill Counseling uses PBM data to target new-to-therapy patients with expanded counseling.

Adherence Outreach tracks patient refills through PBM data. If expected refills do not appear, a CVS pharmacist from the store where the last refill was made phones the patient to discuss adherence. …

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