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CVS Caremark unveils performance-based Rx network

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Pharmacies to include CVS, Walgreens and independents

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — For its CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit manager, CVS Health next year plans to roll out a new 30,000-store pharmacy network anchored by CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens.

CVS said late Tuesday that the performance-based network also will include up to 10,000 independent community pharmacies nationwide.

Besides yielding unit cost savings, the CVS Caremark performance-based network is expected to improve clinical outcomes and, in turn, rein in overall health care costs for Caremark PBM clients and their members.

Performance measures for participating pharmacies will include demonstrated medication adherence for chronic conditions that impact to client costs, such as hypertension, diabetes, respiratory conditions and behavioral health. Network pharmacies are urged to implement their own programs and workflow to help deliver results related to the measures being tracked, CVS said.

“Steadily increasing drug costs, and the current transition in health care from volume to value, require us to continually develop and implement innovative solutions to help our clients manage pharmacy costs while improving health outcomes,” according to Jon Roberts, chief operating officer of CVS Health. “This partnership with Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy and independent pharmacies enables us to offer a new kind of pharmacy network that provides our clients with opportunities to improve health outcomes and lower overall health care costs, along with comprehensive, nationwide access to medications for their patients.”

CVS and Walgreens noted that the network’s design reflects the pivotal role that pharmacists play in helping patients manage their medication regimen for better health.

“Walgreens is pleased to advance our commitment to improving patient care and health outcomes through improved medication adherence by participating in this new performance pharmacy network,” Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Walgreens, said in a statement. “This network recognizes that pharmacists do more than dispense medications. They are key members of the patient care teams and add value by helping and encouraging patients to take their medications as instructed, improving overall health and wellness while lowering costs for patients and payers.

“Tracking performance provides additional accountability and incentive to achieve measurable outcomes,” Gourlay added.

CVS said its Caremark unit is slated to launch the network for eligible PBM clients starting in March 2018.

“We know pharmacists play an important role in providing our patients with timely and relevant information about their prescription medications,” stated CVS Pharmacy president Helena Foulkes. “Given that our pharmacists are on the frontlines of health care in their role as a trusted health care provider, their interventions can help patients take their medications as directed by their physicians, ultimately improving outcomes and managing overall health care costs.”

Overall, the new performance-based network will encompass some 30,000 pharmacies. Combined, CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens operate more than 18,000 pharmacy locations across the country.


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