CVS Caremark Corp. says it has reinvented the specialty patient experience with Specialty Connect, a prescription services program.

CVS Caremark, Specialty Connect, specialty medications, specialty drug prescription, CVS/pharmacy, specialty pharmacy, specialty patient, prescription services, retail pharmacy, Alan Lotvin

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CVS Caremark rolls out Specialty Connect

June 16th, 2014

WOONSOCKET, R.I. – CVS Caremark Corp. says it has reinvented the specialty patient experience with Specialty Connect, a prescription services program.

Leveraging CVS Caremark’s retail and pharmacy resources, the program offers patients “unsurpassed choice and flexibility in how they access their specialty medications” while providing centralized expert clinical support, according to the company.

Historically, CVS explains, patients have faced three key challenges when filling a new specialty drug prescription: submitting the prescription, having easy access to centralized expert clinical and benefits support, and navigating the logistics involved in receiving the drug. For example, as many as a quarter of patients who tried to fill a specialty prescription at a traditional retail pharmacy faced barriers, often resulting in delayed or abandoned treatment and adding to the confusion patients already face when managing a new or chronic condition.

Specialty Connect is designed to simplify getting started on therapy and help patients stay on therapy to support improved health outcomes, CVS notes.

Patients now can bring their specialty prescriptions to any CVS/pharmacy as a complement to existing specialty pharmacy processes. After dropping off their prescriptions, patients receive insurance guidance and clinical support by phone from specialty pharmacy experts who are trained in each therapeutic area and available 24/7.

The program also makes it easy for patients to get their specialty drugs, whether they choose in-store pickup or receive their medications via mail.

“Specialty Connect helps specialty patients with these critical therapies by helping to eliminate common challenges they had often faced and by offering them flexibility and choice,” says Alan Lotvin, executive vice president of specialty pharmacy for CVS Caremark. “The program makes it easier and more convenient for patients to submit and receive their specialty prescriptions either through CVS/pharmacy or by mail. What’s more, it increases medication adherence, improves outcomes and lowers overall health care costs for specialty patients and payers.”

Specialty Connect has demonstrated high levels of patient satisfaction and improved medication adherence for specialty pharmacy patients, CVS adds.

Pilot programs showed a 13-percentage-point increase (from 66% to 79%) in patients who were optimally adherent to their medication. Early results also indicate that the program is reducing traditional obstacles to getting started on specialty medication, with 97% of patients successfully starting on therapy after only their first interaction at a CVS store.