Retail News Breaks
CVS Caremark unveils cardiovascular Rx adherence tool
November 9th, 2011
WOONSOCKET, R.I. – CVS Caremark Corp. has added a chronic cardiovascular care component to its Pharmacy Advisor medication adherence program, bringing a pharmacy-based approach to managing what the company noted is one of the most prevalent and expensive chronic illnesses.
CVS said Wednesday that the program, which combines pharmacy benefit management insights and solutions with pharmacist interventions, ensures that patients follow their medication regimens to achieve optimal health outcomes.
Initially, Pharmacy Advisor for chronic cardiovascular care will focus on improving medication adherence for four conditions: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease (CAD) and congestive heart failure (CHF), according to the company.
"The introduction of the Pharmacy Advisor program for chronic cardiovascular conditions allows us to take a new approach to an old challenge," Helena Foulkes, executive vice president and chief health care strategy and marketing officer for CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "This is another example of how we combine our research and pharmacy care expertise with our unparalleled access to consumers to make a difference for PBM clients and their members."
Pharmacy Advisor for chronic cardiovascular conditions comes in the wake recent research conducted by CVS Caremark, Harvard University and Brigham and Women's Hospital that quantified how much can be saved per patient by improving medication adherence for common chronic diseases, the company noted. The research found that patients with hypertension who took their medications as prescribed saved nearly $4,000 per year, patients with high cholesterol saved up to $1,200 per year and CHF patients saved nearly $8,000 annually.
Via Pharmacy Advisor, CVS Caremark engages PBM members diagnosed with chronic conditions, including diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to their preferences at points when they are most receptive to messages about their prescribed therapy: face-to-face when members choose to fill prescriptions at CVS/pharmacy or by phone when members choose home delivery.
CVS explained that the use of these tactics spurs behavior change and leads to better clinical outcomes. In addition, the program closes gaps in care and directs members with chronic conditions to disease management programs where they can get further support, the company added.
The approach to Pharmacy Advisor is informed by CVS Caremark-sponsored research that has shown that counseling with a trusted health care professional is highly effective when it comes to improving medication adherence for patients with heart disease, CVS said. What's more, pharmacists at retail drug stores were found to be the most influential voice in urging patients to take their prescription drugs as directed.
"The Pharmacy Advisor program improves clinical care because we are able to identify and address pharmacy-related care issues that if left unattended could result in disease progression and increased health care costs," stated Troy Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer at CVS Caremark. "We are also better able to engage the member in their care through multiple contact points, providing counsel that can improve adherence and help members optimize their pharmacy benefit and find the most cost effective options."
Last January, CVS Caremark launched Pharmacy Advisor for diabetes, which the company said has led to more than 1.7 million member interventions. Over 700 clients representing about 12.5 million members are slated to be enrolled in the diabetes program by the end of the year.
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