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Rice to head PBM business at CVS Health

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Derica Rice, CVS Health

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Former Eli Lilly and Co. finance chief Derica Rice has been named president of CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefits management business of CVS Health. He succeeds Jon Roberts, who was promoted last year to the newly created position of chief operating officer of CVS Health.

Rice will have day-to-day leadership and oversight of the PBM, including sales and account management, operations, mail service pharmacy, and specialty pharmacy. He will also focus on driving strategy, new business development, and client relationship management and retention.

“Our PBM clients and the members they serve are asking for innovation, especially around value-based reimbursement models and the role pharmacy can play in improving health outcomes and lowering total health care costs,” said Roberts. “We believe Derica is a great addition to our team, and the experience he brings with regard to innovation in these value-based models in particular will help us continue to serve our clients’ needs while developing and delivering innovative solutions and ­offerings.”

Rice brings to CVS Caremark nearly three decades of experience as a health care executive with a strong track record of delivering results in leadership positions. At Lilly, Rice served as executive vice president of global services and chief financial officer before retiring in ­December.

During his 27-year career at Lilly, Rice was a key player in helping to drive the company’s innovation strategy, and he held numerous roles in finance and operations, including as CFO for Lilly Canada, general manager of Lilly’s U.K. affiliate, executive director and CFO of European operations, and Lilly’s vice president and ­controller.

CVS Caremark’s history of strong service, along with its size, scale and unique suite of capabilities, provides the needed tools “to be successful in retaining business and winning in the marketplace as opportunities arise,” CVS Health president and CEO Larry Merlo said over the winter.

Merlo said in February that while it was early in the selling season, “we are making progress with our ’19 renewals and have already renewed a high percentage of our health plan clients. As for new business prospects it’s early to gauge the full extent of our fee activities in the ’19 selling season, but we don’t see as much health plan opportunity as we’ve seen in past years.”

Roberts said CVS Caremark is focused on PBM cost management solutions and clinical programs as well as its unique ability to leverage and utilize the full suite of CVS Health enterprise assets, including site-of-care management and infusion capabilities, the ability to manage specialty trend under both the pharmacy and the medical benefit, and face-to-face counseling support at pharmacies and walk-in clinics.

The CVS integrated model, with all its pharmacy touchpoints, Roberts commented, is centered on managing the cost of drugs and overall health care costs and providing high service levels for both PBM clients and their members. “The PBM industry is very competitive,” he said, “and all the players get to a similar place on unit cost, leading clients to ask, ‘What else do you have to offer?’

“That’s when we talk about our integrated suite of assets, not only as a PBM but also as a national retail pharmacy and through our MinuteClinics.”


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