WOONSOCKET, R.I., Feb. 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) was today awarded the 2014 Rx Benefit Innovation Award by the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute (PBMI). The award recognizes the company's new Specialty Connect program, which was developed by CVS Caremark to improve access, quality of care and convenience for specialty pharmacy patients.
Patients newly diagnosed with a specialty condition often find that beginning medication therapy can be confusing or overwhelming. While one-third of patients currently attempt to fill their specialty prescriptions at a local retail pharmacy because of the convenience and familiarity the location offers, 15-25 percent are turned away without the medication or direction on where to go for help, resulting in delayed or abandoned treatment. This is because today most retail pharmacies do not have access to the broad range of specialty drugs and are not trained or equipped to provide the necessary services. Specialty drugs treat complex diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis C and cancer and represent a rapidly growing area of spending in health care.
The Specialty Connect program leverages CVS Caremark's unique retail and specialty pharmacy resources to help patients access their medications locally while still receiving dedicated clinical management services from experts in each therapeutic area. Through this program, CVS/pharmacy locations can accept specialty prescriptions and patients have the choice of in-store pickup or delivery to their home or office. CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy CareTeam pharmacists and nurse practitioners provide ongoing clinical support and counseling by phone. In addition, value-added retail pharmacy services (e.g., text message prescription reminders, prescription status information and online prescription refill tools) are available to help patients stay on therapy and manage their condition."This program illustrates how the assets of the full CVS Caremark enterprise can transform how patients with specialty conditions access their medications and receive important clinical management services," said Jon Roberts, President of CVS Caremark's pharmacy benefit management business. "For CVS Caremark, this award recognizes our innovative approach to helping people on their path to better health, providing the greatest degree of convenience and access while maintaining the highest levels of clinical care." CVS Caremark piloted Specialty Connect in the Philadelphia market in late 2012 through 2013. The results demonstrate the importance of integrating the retail pharmacy access that patients want – approximately half of patients chose to pick up their prescription at their local CVS/pharmacy store – with the centralized clinical support they need to manage their condition. "The pilot results showed medication adherence rates in patients accessing specialty through retail pharmacy that match the gold standard set by CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy. This level of performance was previously unmatched in the retail pharmacy setting, validating the impact of the Specialty Connect approach on both quality and convenience," said Alan Lotvin, M.D., executive vice president and head of CVS Caremark Specialty Pharmacy. The Specialty Connect program will roll out nationally to all CVS/pharmacy stores by July 2014. About CVS CaremarkCVS Caremark is dedicated to helping people on their path to better health as the largest integrated pharmacy company in the United States. Through the company's more than 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores; its leading pharmacy benefit manager serving more than 60 million plan members; and its retail health clinic system, the largest in the nation with more than 800 MinuteClinic locations, it is a market leader in mail order, retail and specialty pharmacy, retail clinics, and Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As a pharmacy innovation company with an unmatched breadth of capabilities, CVS Caremark continually strives to improve health and lower costs by developing new approaches such as its unique Pharmacy Advisor program that helps people with chronic diseases such as diabetes obtain and stay on their medications. Find more information about how CVS Caremark is reinventing pharmacy for better health at info.cvscaremark.com. Media Contacts: Christine K. CramerCVS Caremark401-770-3317 SOURCE CVS Caremark