Pharmacy Advisor® is CVS Health’s unique program designed to help CVS/caremark plan members with chronic conditions achieve better health outcomes by promoting improved medication adherence and closing gaps in care. Through the program, CVS Health engages members who are diagnosed with chronic conditions face-to-face when they choose to fill prescriptions at CVS/pharmacy or by phone when members choose mail service pharmacy, allowing them to intervene directly with patients and communicate with their physicians in real time. In addition to improving medication adherence, the program also directs members with chronic conditions to existing disease management programs where they can obtain additional support.
CVS Health launched Pharmacy Advisor for diabetes in early 2011 and in 2012 expanded the program to chronic cardiovascular care, including four key conditions: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, coronary artery disease (CAD) and congestive heart failure (CHF). In early 2013, Pharmacy Advisor was further extended to include asthma, breast cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), depression and osteoporosis.
Research published in Health Affairs about the Pharmacy Advisor program for diabetes showed that contacts by pharmacists with patients and their doctors increased both patient medication adherence rates and physician initiation of prescriptions, thereby improving care for diabetes patients and resulting in savings for payors. Therapy initiation rates increased by as much as 39 percent for the population studied with an even higher increase of 68 percent for the group counseled at retail stores. Overall medication adherence rates increased by 2.1 percent, with face-to-face interventions by retail store pharmacists resulting in adherence rate increases of 3.9 percent. While expenditures for the counseling in the study totaled $200,000, the participating employer saved more than $600,000 through health care cost avoidance with the intervention group, a return on investment of $3 for every $1 spent on additional counseling.