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CVS Caremark PBM Releases Its Own Report Card and Gives Itself A’s

by Clive Riddle, April 12, 2019

CVS Health’s Caremark PBM has just released their annual Drug Trend Report, and tells is that they “blunted the impact of drug price inflation achieving a negative -4.2 percent price growth for non-specialty drugs and a 1.7 percent price growth for specialty drugs. Furthermore, 44 percent of CVS Caremark's commercial PBM clients saw their net prescription drug prices decline from 2017 to 2018.”


In the 12-page report, CVS Caremark notes that while medical costs have increased by 14% since 2013, their member average cost per 30-day Rx decreased 8.4% during that time, from, $11.96 to $10.95. They also remind us Non specialty brand AWP increased 8.1% last year, and specialty brand AWP increased 7.6% last year, while overall U.S. inflation increased 1.9%.

CVS Caremark reports that specialty drugs account for 1% of their Rxs, but 45% of their pharmacy spend.  They cite specialty drug cost growth as the number one trend to keep on your radar going forward. The rest of the top five trends:

2) Integrated management of specialty drug spend that falls under the medical benefit, given 45% of the specialty spend falls under medical benefits

3) Addressing pharma manufacturer innovations in marketing and product protection to reduce market competition

4) Strategies to improve medication adherence for chronic disease patients

5) Identifying “bad actors” through analytics

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