Multi-Dose Packaging Is Making It Easier to Take Medications

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Lee Ann Pace was having trouble keeping up with her multiple prescriptions, sometimes running out of her medications before she got them refilled.

She’s not alone. Taking medications as prescribed is one of the best ways to control chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, but with dose changes, regimen changes, manufacturer changes and other barriers, keeping up with multiple medications can be a challenge.

That’s why we offer no-cost multi-dose packaging, making it easier for customers and members to take their medications and stay on their path to better health.

“Everything they need for each time of day is there packed together with their name, the information about the medication, the prescriber, lot numbers, expiration dates…all there for the patient,” says Lynn Parker, CVS Pharmacy manager.

Watch the video to learn more.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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Streamlining Prescription Onboarding with Specialty Expedite

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As CVS Health looks to transform health care and contribute to a better, more efficient system, we are looking at ways to leverage and improve the use of technology to improve quality of care and patient outcomes.

This is especially important in specialty pharmacy and why we’ve introduced Specialty Expedite.Specialty Expedite is available exclusively for providers who use compatible electronic health record (EHR) systems including Epic Systems and others that participate in the Carequality Interoperability Framework. All data sharing and usage complies with applicable privacy laws. Patients receive real-time prescription status updates only after providing consent to CVS Specialty. Our connected capability transforms prescription onboarding for our CVS Specialty patients, on average shortening the specialty pharmacy onboarding process to as little as three days and ultimately helping to get patients started on appropriate therapy faster.

Getting Patients the Medications They Need Quickly and Efficiently

For patients with complex medical conditions requiring specialty medications, getting started on their prescriptions quickly and efficiently is crucial to their care. But the process has not always been that simple, with patients sometimes having to wait as long as several weeks to complete the manual onboarding and prior authorization process.

Specifically, the process to get started on a specialty medication often requires physician’s offices and insurers to fax appropriate patient records and/or required approvals before a prescription can be filled, which can be time consuming but is a critical step to ensure that patients are receiving the most appropriate medication.

In addition, across the health care system, the Federal government is looking at ways to help enable and improve health information technology (IT) systems and as part of that, officials have even called for health care to be a “fax free zone by 2020.”

How It Works

Specialty Expedite works by securely gathering appropriate patient information, including insurance, lab work and diagnosis codes via a doctor’s electronic health record (EHR) system instead of sharing through fax. The process also cuts down on paperwork and phone calls, resulting in fewer errors and more efficiencies.

In addition, patients also now have the option of receiving real-time status updates via email or text, so that they can stay informed on the status of their prescriptions and any prior authorization requirements. Patients are also able to choose how they want to get their specialty medications — at their local CVS Pharmacy or though specialty mail serviceWhere allowed by law. In-store pick up is currently not available in Oklahoma. Puerto Rico requires first-fill prescriptions to be transmitted directly to the dispensing specialty pharmacy. Products are dispensed by CVS Specialty and certain services are only accessed by calling CVS Specialty directly. Certain specialty medication may not qualify. Services are also available at Long’s Drugs locations. via Specialty Connect. Research shows that when patients have more flexibility and choice, they are able to start their therapies sooner and adherence and satisfaction improves.

Helping patients with complex medical conditions get the specialty medication they need more quickly and efficiently through technology and solutions such as Specialty Expedite is one more way we are helping people on their path to better health.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve care across the nation, visit our News & Insights page and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our Leaders in Care newsletter.

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Addressing Rising Drug Prices

Addressing Rising Drug Prices
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Rising drug prices hurt patients and lead to negative and costly outcomes throughout our health care system. For example, data show that 40 percent of patients do not pick up their prescriptions when out-of-pocket costs per prescription exceed $200.CVS Health Internal Analysis. Completed December 2015, Retail RxDw; Analysis Timeframe of 1/1/15 – 12/28/15 When patients don’t take their medications as prescribed, the cost to our health care system is approximately $290 billion.https://www.nehi.net/writable/publication_files/file/pa_issue_brief_final.pdf

At CVS Health, we recognize that one of the most important things we can do is to help people afford and take their medications. That’s why we’re working to improve transparency and pioneering solutions to help patients get the right medicine at the lowest possible cost.

Providing Information across Multiple Points of Care

Information about how much a drug costs is not always readily available. According to a poll sponsored by CVS Health, more than half (57 percent) of patients do not know how much a drug will cost them, and nearly as many (54 percent) believe it would be helpful to have information about the cost before they fill their prescriptions.

CVS Health is working to expand visibility into drug cost information across multiple points of care.

  • At the physician’s office: Our real-time benefits technology – used by 100,000 prescribers nationwide – enables visibility into what a patient will pay for a specific drug under their benefits plan and presents up to five lower-cost, clinically appropriate alternatives for consideration by the prescriber.
  • At the pharmacy counter: Our more than 30,000 retail pharmacists use the Rx Savings Finder tool to search for potential savings opportunities.
  • For CVS Caremark members: About 230,000 times per month, CVS Caremark members search the Check Drug Cost tool to find lower-cost, clinically appropriate alternatives to more expensive medications.

Helping Control Costs While Promoting Better Health

As a Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM), we use every tool at our disposal to bring down drug prices. For example, we encourage the use of lower-cost, clinically appropriate generic alternatives, which data show can lead to a 3-percent decrease in overall mortality.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2522238. We offer evidence-based guidelines to help prescribers connect patients to the most cost-effective medicines, resulting in more than $2.9 billion in savings.CVS Health White Paper. Current and New Approaches to Making Drugs More Affordable. Published August 2018 We also provide point-of-sale rebates and zero-dollar copay drug list options to clients, helping to deliver savings directly to patients at the pharmacy counter.

Keeping Costs Down for Patients, Employers and Government Programs

Our PBM strategies rein in costs across the health care system and also increase access to affordable medications for patients. While brand manufacturers have increased prices on average 9.2 percent annually from 2008 to 2016,https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/abs/10.1377/hlthaff.2018.05147 we have worked to stabilize drug costs for our clients and patients. In fact, CVS Health kept drug price growth to just 0.2 percent in 2017.

For more information on how CVS Health is working to expand access to more affordable and effective health care, check out our Cost of Care information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

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Clinical Secure Messaging Helps Improve Medication Adherence

Clinical Secure Messaging Helps Improve Medication Adherence
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Graph showing Medication adherence improved in both groups of patients who used secure messaging.
Medication adherence improved in both groups of patients who used secure messaging.
Graph showing more optimal medication adherence with secure messaging.
Optimal medication adherence improved for both groups of patients using secure messaging.
Graph showing a decrease in the first-fill drop-off rate for patients using secure messaging.
First-fill drop-off rate also decreased among patients using secure messaging.

Historically, people with complex conditions may receive telephonic or in-person support from a specially trained nurse or pharmacist with the goal of helping the patient better manage their condition(s), take their medication(s) as prescribed and improve their overall health outcomes. In this increasingly digital age, however, people are turning to technology for help with a range of things, including health care.

Recognizing this shift toward digital engagement, CVS Specialty is bringing patients innovative digital and online tools to help them better manage their conditions and access additional support online. This includes secure, two-way messaging that puts a nurse or pharmacist at the patients’ fingertips.

Powering this capability is a proprietary, company-built tool loaded with therapy- and indication-specific clinical information. Patients opt-in to receive personalized message alerts via their mobile phone asking if they are experiencing certain common medication side effects. The messages are based on clinical trial data, the drug’s label and feedback from other patients, and are timed to reach the patient when they are more likely to experience a specific side effect. The message also includes a link to enable the patient to ask the pharmacist a medication-related question.

Following the launch of this tool for patients with chronic myeloid leukemia (CML), initial results were promising, with high engagement rates and improved medication adherence, compared to more traditional support methods, including telephonic outreach.

Scaling to Other Specialty Conditions

With positive results in patients with CML, CVS Specialty quickly expanded use of this tool across all specialty conditions and recently conducted a retrospective analysis of specialty pharmacy claims and use of secure messaging in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple sclerosis (MS).

These findings were recently presented at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy annual meeting and showed that patients with these complex conditions can also benefit from this type of digital support when compared to more traditional support methods. Specifically, patients who received the customized, secure clinical messages on topics including adherence, condition management or side effect management, every 30 days, were more likely to re-fill their prescription(s) and achieved significantly higher medication adherence than the control group. In fact, optimal adherence for patients in the study with either MS or RA receiving this digital clinical support improved by 3.82% and 2.12% points, respectively.

At CVS Specialty, the goal is to help patients on their path to better health by offering support where and when patients need it most. This data shows the promise of clinical support delivered digitally and, as part of a health care innovation company, CVS Specialty is committed to continuing to help more patients manage their diseases in a way that meets their individual needs.

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Moriarty Discusses Community Health Innovation at Wall Street Project Economic Summit

Moriarty Discusses Community Health Innovation at Wall Street Project Economic Summit
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Tom Moriarty, EVP, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer and General Counsel, recently sat down with civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. at the 22nd Annual Wall Street Project Economic Summit to highlight how our newly combined company can accelerate the improvement of health care for individuals and families across the country.

Moriarty emphasized how the path to better health and stronger communities can be achieved through local support and targeted engagement. At CVS Health, we know how much human interactions matter. The millions of patients we interact with every day each have unique backgrounds and needs. Every day, we utilize our community footprint to build trust with patients on a personal level.

Addressing Local Barriers to Care

Today, approximately 30 to 40 percent of physician-ordered lab tests aren’t completed – oftentimes as a result of lab and testing facilities not having extended hours and lacking access from public transportation routes. Moriarty emphasized how CVS Health can help patients achieve better health by expanding access to testing and monitoring in the communities where they live and work.

Complementing Primary Care

Due to inadequate access to care, it can be difficult for patients to locate the coordinated care and health services they need to get and stay healthy in between doctor visits. CVS Health serves 10,000 communities nationwide with more than 9,800 retail stores and 1,100 walk-in clinics and we’re pursuing new ways to elevate our retail stores as a local health care destination. 

Through the introduction of HealthHUB® locations at CVS Pharmacy stores in Houston, Texas, we have the opportunity to serve as an extension to primary care. With personalized pharmacy support programs and MinuteClinic services, the HealthHUB pilot is improving care for patients managing chronic conditions with a focus on recommending next best actions and driving medical costs savings.

Moriarty shared several examples of how the HealthHUB pilot will provide meaningful and frequent touchpoints to care. For a patient living with diabetes, we can be there more frequently to provide counsel on lifestyle and dietary needs. In the case of respiratory disease, a respiratory therapist will be on-site to help patients track their conditions and provide them with personalized counsel. These interactions will help coordinate care across a patients’ full care teams.

Improving Health Outcomes and Lowering Costs

About 80 percent of current medical spend is on chronic conditions, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. At the same time, the number of Americans impacted by these conditions continues to grow.

Moriarty shared how the pharmacy can help prevent these conditions and improve population health by serving as a first line of defense in the community. Our newly combined company will deliver a unified strategy aimed at making a measurable impact on the health of communities nationwide. Through our Building Healthier Communities initiative, CVS Health will make significant investments in the areas of managing chronic disease, including the expansion of Project Health to provide more screenings for the social determinants of health that affect personal well-being and the broader community, such as education, housing and access to fresh food.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

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Moriarty Addresses Prescription Drug Affordability at Roll Call Live

Moriarty Addresses Prescription Drug Affordability at Roll Call Live
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In the midst of a very important discussion around prescription drug pricing in Washington, DC, CVS Health sponsored an event with CQ Roll Call titled “Empowering Patients as Partners in Health Care” to focus on the issue and the consumer experience in health care today. At the event, policymakers and health care policy experts discussed the progress being made to make the health care system work better and identified areas where more solutions are needed. Tom Moriarty, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, and General Counsel for CVS Health, addressed the affordability of prescription drugs – one of the most critical issues impacting patients today.

Moriarty emphasized how high drug prices can have an adverse effect on patients’ health. For example, when medications are above $200 in out-of-pocket costs per prescription, more than 40 percent of patients do not pick up their prescriptions. To ensure patients can afford their medicines and take them as directed, Moriarty outlined the importance of the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) tools and solutions CVS Health is pioneering to improve medication adherence and reduce patients’ out-of-pocket costs. He also highlighted policy ideas that can increase market competition and provide the transparency that consumers, providers and pharmacists need to get the most effective drug at the lowest cost.

Innovative Solutions to Address Rising Drug Costs

The status quo of rising drug prices is not acceptable. Moriarty highlighted how CVS Health is implementing solutions to mitigate the effects of manufacturer-driven price increases. We are:

  • Pioneering the use of point-of-sale rebates and started by offering them to our CVS Health colleagues. As a result, we’ve seen adherence improvements of four to six percent. Additionally, we offer point-of-sale rebates to our clients – making this benefit available to 10 million people covered by CVS Caremark plans.

  • Utilizing preventive drug lists for colleagues to make medications for common chronic conditions, including diabetes, hypertension and asthma, available at a zero-dollar copay. Data show that this can lead to better adherence and provide medical cost savings and productivity gains.

  • Expanding visibility into prescription drug costs – starting at the doctor’s office and culminating at the pharmacy counter. At the doctors’ office, we provide real-time benefits to ensure prescribers have information on patients’ covered benefits and what patients will pay out-of-pocket under their plan for a specific drug. At the pharmacy counter, our retail pharmacists are using the Rx Savings Finder to help members save, in some instances, an average of $420 per year.

Rebates are Discounts that Help Lower Costs for Patients and the Government

There has been a lot of discussion about the role of rebates in the drug pricing system, which are discounts used to reduce costs for patients and government programs. Moriarty debunked the myth that drug companies increase prices as a result of having to pay rebates, pointing to the fact that there is no correlation between manufacturer-driven price increases and these rebates and discounts. In fact, list price is increasing faster for drugs with little competition than it is for medications with competition and substantial rebates and discounts.

Despite the fact that brand drug manufacturers increased list prices by an average of 9.2 percent annually between 2008 and 2016,QuintilesIMS Institute, Medicines Use and Spending in the U.S. (May 2017). https://structurecms-staging-psyclone.netdna-ssl.com/client_assets/dwonk/media/attachments/590c/6aa0/6970/2d2d/4182/0000/590c6aa069702d2d41820000.pdf?1493985952 CVS Caremark has been able to keep drug price growth nearly flat at 0.2 percent by negotiating rebates and discounts and encouraging the use of lower cost, clinically appropriate medicines.

Policy Solutions to Lower Drug Costs for Patients

PBMs are very effective at lowering drug prices when there is competition, but there is still a substantial number of products that face limited to no competition. In addition, due to the increased enrollment in high-deductible health plans, the deep discounts being driven by PBMs are not being seen at the pharmacy counter by patients when they are in their deductible phase. To address these challenges, Moriarty presented four patient-centric solutions:

  • Medicare should drive the adoption of real-time benefits to give patients and their physicians visibility into lower costs and offer an option for a point-of-sale rebate Part D plan.

  • For plans associated with health savings accounts, policymakers can take immediate action to change Internal Revenue Service (IRS) rules to allow those plans to provide first-dollar coverage for drugs outside of the deductible, even for maintenance medications intended to treat an existing chronic condition.

  • By prohibiting pay-for-delay agreements and passing the Creating and Restoring Equal Access to Equivalent Samples (CREATES) Act to stop Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMs) abuse, we can curb anti-competitive practices and help bring lower cost, clinically equivalent generic medications to market more quickly.

  • Lastly, we must accelerate the pathway to bringing biosimilar drugs to market. Biosimilar drugs have the potential to save the health system $54 billion dollars over ten years, but our country is far behind in accessing these medicines. In Europe, 53 biosimilar medicines have been approved. In contrast, only seven are on the market in the U.S. today.

CVS Health will continue to innovate and use every tool at our disposal to bring down the costs of drugs while also advocating for effective policies that increase access to affordable medications.

For more information on how CVS Health is working to expand access to more affordable and effective health care, check out our Cost of Care information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

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Proven Savings with Real-Time Prescription Benefits

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CVS Health’s real-time prescription benefits solution helps lower member out-of-pocket costs. Powered by our proprietary engine Script Intelligence™, we can offer actionable, up-to-the-minute, member-specific plan information across multiple points of care – at the doctor’s office, at the pharmacy and at the member’s fingertips – and provide visibility to lower cost, clinically appropriate brand and generic alternatives.

When members switch medications using real-time prescription benefits, they are saving an average of $120 to $130 per fill.

The solution also helps improve the member and provider experience by streamlining the prescribing process and getting more affordable medications to members faster.

For more of the actionable ideas, strategies and expertise we provide payors to help lower drug costs and improve health outcomes, visit CVS Health Payor Solutions

CVS Caremark | Drug Focus
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Moriarty at POLITICO Health Care Innovators

Moriarty at POLITICO Health Care Innovators
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Health Care Innovators is an event series by POLITICO, and sponsored by CVS Health, highlighting the new faces and best practices in health care innovation. At the series’ second event, Tom Moriarty, Chief Policy and External Affairs Officer, and General Counsel, discussed how the combination of CVS Health and Aetna is challenging the status quo in health care.

Moriarty emphasized how our newly created model can innovate from within the current health care system by tackling the key challenges that patients face and improving the overall patient experience. 

Addressing Health Care Hurdles

Our health care system was not built to provide patients with the coordinated care and tools they need to manage their conditions and easily determine what is best for their health. According to Moriarty, uncoordinated care can lead to inferior outcomes and higher costs. Today, a huge portion of health care costs is allocated towards chronic disease management and data show that close to $500 billion of these costs are avoidable.http://www.fightchronicdisease.org/sites/default/files/TL221_final.pdf

Moriarty highlighted how the CVS Health and Aetna combination provides the opportunity to address avoidable costs by providing patients with access to the right care locally.

In the case of diabetes, Moriarty noted that CVS Health can ensure that patients are healthier and costly adverse events are avoided. “We will have the ability to determine who is at risk of developing diabetes and provide them preventative counseling and services,” said Moriarty. “We can also improve health, reduce these numbers in the future and realize extensive savings by doing so – both for the patients and the system.”

Improving the Health Care Experience

CVS Health has set a very real goal of transforming the consumer health care experience. To meet this goal, Moriarty demonstrated how CVS Health can improve coordination across the care continuum and provide patients with more touchpoints to care.

Moriarty shared the example of a patient leaving the hospital to illustrate how the CVS Health and Aetna combination can simplify health care. Consider, for example, that while the patient may be well enough for discharge, she leaves with a complicated care plan in hand. It can be difficult to know where she should start and how to achieve better health outcomes. 

By fully integrating Aetna’ medical information and analytics with CVS Health’s pharmacy data and our 10,000 retail locations, the care plan prescribed by the doctor can be more seamlessly coordinated by CVS Health and the patient’s caregiver. We can provide adherence outreach to ensure she is taking her medications, or schedule a MinuteClinic follow up within 14 days post discharge if she is unable to see her provider. Whether it is filling the care gaps between visits to the doctor, providing clinical programs to ensure the patient stays well at home or increasing her utilization of lower-cost sites of care – we know we can make staying healthy easier and more affordable.

Moriarty also emphasized how CVS Health is working to improve health at the community level by providing patients with more engagement. Recently, CVS Health announced a five-year $100 million commitment to improve community health through increased access to free health screenings, additional volunteer hours in the communities we serve and expanded support for national and local organizations that are working on the front lines to improve health care. According to Moriarty, this investment will help address the social determinants of health, such as family, education, housing and access to fresh food, that impact patients’ health and well-being in communities nationwide.

For more information about CVS Health’s efforts to improve access to quality care across the nation, visit our Quality & Access information center and the CVS Health Impact Dashboard. To stay informed about the latest updates and innovations from CVS Health, register for content alerts and our bi-weekly health care newsletter.

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CVS Health and HHS Study Finds Proactive Pharmacy-based Outreach Helps Patients Access Needed Medications during a Natural Disaster

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., Dec. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- New research by the CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) Research Institute and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), published online today in JAMA Internal Medicine, showed that automated pharmacy notifications encourage patients with chronic conditions to refill medications prior to a forecasted natural disaster. The study also affirms that public-private partnerships can facilitate timely pharmacy outreach as part of broader community-based natural disaster planning. CVS Pharmacy is expanding this practice, as part of its natural disaster response operations, to help encourage patients to have an adequate supply of medication on hand when preparing for natural disasters, including hurricanes and blizzards.

"Emergency departments and medical responders can be overwhelmed by the number of people seeking medical care after a disaster simply because they ran out of their daily medications and couldn't reach a pharmacy due to impassable streets and business closures," said Dr. Nicole Lurie, HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). "The number of people who need medications for chronic conditions continues to rise, and communities across the country need solutions that can help them stay healthy, even in a disaster situation. This study demonstrated how powerful public-private partnerships can be in providing solutions that can protect health for residents and whole communities."

Researchers compared the medication fill rates of more than two million patients who were contacted by CVS Pharmacy in advance of a storm to a randomly assigned control group of patients of the same stores who received no outreach. The store locations were selected based on storm forecast data provided by ASPR. The study found that those who received outreach prior to the storm were nine percent more likely to refill their medications within the 48 hours after receiving the notification and before the storm impacted the region.

"Ensuring our patients have their medications available to them is one of our top priorities, and this research highlights how proactive outreach to patients before a natural disaster can encourage timely medication refills which may help ensure continuity of care and avoid adverse health events due to inadequate medication supply," said Kevin Hourican, Executive Vice President, Pharmacy Services and Supply Chain, CVS Health. "Operationally, we have the infrastructure in place at all of our more than 9,600 CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide to facilitate this type of proactive outreach in advance of forecasted weather events."

When forecasted storms have the potential to disrupt community infrastructure, CVS Pharmacy can reach out to patients with maintenance medications for chronic conditions who live in impacted areas, and who have opted into CVS Pharmacy's automated notification programs. Patients may receive automated phone calls, text messages, and mobile app notifications letting them know when their prescription is ready to be picked up, reminding them that their prescription is ready to be refilled, and informing patients where they can pick up their medications during emergency situations, including the availability of mobile pharmacies that may be deployed during natural disasters. These automated messages offer added convenience for patients and can help them be more adherent to their prescription medications.

Added Hourican, "Our digital notification tools can also assist patients following a severe weather event or natural disaster by notifying patients of store closures and suggesting alternate locations to pick up their prescription medications."

About CVS Health

CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,600 retail pharmacies, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 80 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.

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Christina Beckerman
CVS Health
(401) 770-8868
christina.beckerman@cvshealth.com

Amy Lanctot
CVS Health
(401) 770-2931
amy.lanctot@cvshealth.com

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SOURCE CVS Health

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CVS Health Launches ScriptSync™ to Make Medication Adherence Easier for Patients who Have Multiple Prescriptions

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WOONSOCKET, R.I., Aug. 11, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today announced the launch of ScriptSync™, a new pharmacy service that enables patients with multiple medications to pick up their eligible maintenance prescriptions in a monthly CVS/pharmacy visit.

In addition, patients or caregivers can manage their ScriptSync prescriptions 24/7 using innovative online support tools. By aligning prescription fill schedules for patients, CVS Health aims to make it easier and more convenient for patients to take their medications as prescribed. ScriptSync is currently available in all CVS/pharmacy stores and will be available through CVS/caremark Mail Service Pharmacy in 2016.

"Medication adherence is a complex public health challenge, and better adherence can improve health outcomes and lower overall health care costs for both patients and payors," said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, executive vice president and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Health. "Our research shows that people with chronic diseases taking multiple medications may make numerous trips to the pharmacy each month for refills, which makes it harder for them to stay on track with different fill schedules and take them regularly as prescribed. ScriptSync is one more way that we can work together with our patients to make medication adherence easier as we help people on their path to better health."

Medication non-adherence – when people don't take their medicines as prescribed – costs the health care system nearly $300 billion and tens of thousands of lives each year. Research shows that nearly 50 percent of patients with chronic conditions do not take their medications as prescribed. According to research from the CVS Health Research Institute previously published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, as the complexity of patients' medication regimens increases, their adherence decreases. In fact, patients with multiple medications who do not consolidate their medication refills were found to have significantly lower adherence rates than patients who consolidated their refills. Researchers concluded that helping patients simplify, synchronize and organize their pharmacy care, could improve their adherence. Building on the findings of this research, patients in the ScriptSync pilot showed a substantial increase in medication adherence when their multiple, ongoing prescriptions were synchronized for pickup together.

"As a pharmacy innovation company, CVS Health is focused on using our technology and scale to deliver patient-centered pharmacy care and innovative digital solutions to address medication non-adherence," added Brian Tilzer, senior vice president and Chief Digital Officer, CVS Health. "In fact, the online support feature of ScriptSync was developed in our Boston-based Digital Innovation Lab to help make viewing and updating prescription information quick, easy and convenient to give our ScriptSync patients more control over managing their health."

CVS/pharmacy patients with multiple maintenance prescriptions can sign-up for ScriptSync, work with their CVS pharmacist to align prescription fills and determine an optimal pickup date. Once aligned, prescriptions are refilled on the same day, and prior to the pickup date, patients can receive a call or text message when their order is ready. In addition, once enrolled they can access and manage their prescriptions online at CVS.com/ScriptSync. There, users can add or remove prescriptions from ScriptSync, verify the status of an order and confirm or change their CVS/pharmacy ScriptSync pickup date as needed.

About CVS Health

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its 7,800 retail drugstores, nearly 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with more than 70 million plan members, and expanding specialty pharmacy services, the Company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable, effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at www.cvshealth.com.

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Mike DeAngelis
CVS Health
(401) 770-2645
mjdeangelis@cvs.com

Christine Cramer
CVS Health
(401) 770-3317
christine.cramer@cvshealth.com

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