CVS Launches New Performance-Based PBM Network

New network encourages medication adherence for chronic conditions.

CVS Health recently announced the launch of a new performance-based pharmacy network that includes 30,000 CVS and Walgreens pharmacies, and 10,000 community-based independent pharmacies, according to a press release.

The novel network is poised to deliver cost savings and improve patient outcomes, which could lower healthcare costs for the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) CVS Caremark and their members, according to CVS.

"Steadily increasing drug costs, and the current transition in healthcare from volume to value, require us to continually develop and implement innovative solutions to help our clients manage pharmacy costs while improving health outcomes," said Jon Roberts, chief operating officer of CVS Health. "This partnership with Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, and independent pharmacies enables us to offer a new kind of pharmacy network that provides our clients with opportunities to improve health outcomes and lower overall healthcare costs, along with comprehensive, nationwide access to medications for their patients."

The new PBM performance-based network will require pharmacies to demonstrate how they drive medication adherence for patients with costly chronic conditions, including hypertension, diabetes, respiratory conditions, and behavioral health, according to the release.

Remaining adherent to prescribed medications has been found to improve patient outcomes, reduce the risk of adverse events, and lower costs.

"Walgreens is pleased to advance our commitment to improving patient care and health outcomes through improved medication adherence by participating in this new performance pharmacy network," said Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance and president of Walgreens. "This network recognizes that pharmacists do more than dispense medications they are key members of the patient care teams and add value by helping and encouraging patients to take their medications as instructed, improving overall health and wellness while lowering costs for patients and payers. Tracking performance provides additional accountability and incentive to achieve measurable outcomes."

CVS encourages pharmacies to adopt their own programs and adjust processes to help them meet the goals of the new network, according to the release.

This network will be available for CVS Caremark’s clients starting in March 2018.

"At CVS Pharmacy, we know pharmacists play an important role in providing our patients with timely and relevant information about their prescription medications," said Helena Foulkes, president, CVS Pharmacy. "Given that our pharmacists are on the frontlines of healthcare in their role as a trusted healthcare provider, their interventions can help patients take their medications as directed by their physicians, ultimately improving outcomes and managing overall healthcare costs."