CVS Caremark to Expand Its Influence over Drug Distribution in California in 2012

California Health Plan Analysis Now Available from HealthLeaders-InterStudy

NASHVILLE, Tenn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- HealthLeaders-InterStudy, a leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that CVS Caremark’s recent gain of the pharmacy benefit management (PBM) contract for a portion of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System in 2012 will likely drive up sales of 90-day supplies of prescription drugs because of the PBM’s signature Maintenance Choice program. The program encourages extended supplies of medications used to manage chronic conditions.

Under the program, members receive the same discounts on 90-day supplies picked up at CVS retail stores as through mail order. In the typical pharmacy plan, mail-ordered supplies are usually cheaper than buying a monthly supply of drugs at retail.

According to the recent California Health Plan Analysis, the change of PBMs from Medco Health Solutions to CVS Caremark for the California Public Employees’ Retirement System pension fund’s 346,000 PPO members will be most noticeable to members through Maintenance Choice. PPO members who choose to use a pharmacy other than CVS or Long’s drug stores associated with Maintenance Choice face a higher copay for a 90-day supply. This will have the effect of steering more members to CVS stores.

“While CVS Caremark’s 90-day supply incentive program is increasingly being adopted by plan sponsors throughout the country, it does not always sit well with independent pharmacies,” says Chris Lewis, senior market analyst with HealthLeaders-InterStudy. “They stand to lose business when their potential customers chase the better 90-day supply prices at CVS stores or through mail order.”

The pension fund anticipates that members will get quicker access to prescription refills as a result of Maintenance Choice, according to the report.

Other topics highlighted in the recent California Health Plan Analysis include:

  • Updates on Healthcare Reform
  • Trends in care coordination and accountable care organizations
  • Developments in the Medicaid and Medicare Markets

Why Pharmaceutical Company Managed Markets Teams Need Health Plan Analysis

Health Plan Analysis identifies key health plan trends, allowing pharmaceutical companies to create comprehensive strategic plans and sales strategies at state and local levels. Updated quarterly, Health Plan Analysis provides a detailed look at plan design and financials, as well as information about mergers, legislation and other influencers driving healthcare in a particular region.

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Kristi Guillemette, 781-993-2618
[email protected]
Decision Resources Group
Elizabeth Marshall, 781-993-2563
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  California  Tennessee

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