Why Does WSJ Villanize CVS Caremark?

I was so annoyed when I read the WSJ this morning about CVS Caremark charging more for members that go outside the CVS store or mail order.  Come on guys.  This is a basic tiered network design.  It’s not unlike tiered formularies or preferred drug lists.

First, it’s a plan design that was created and offered to clients.  Some clients choose it.  That’s not CVS Caremark’s issue.  Anyone could do this and offer it.

Second, what’s different between this an mandatory mail or retail buy-up.  If you choose a higher cost location, you have to pay more.  You’re getting the same drug at a higher cost facility.

What frustrates me the most here is that we will never reform healthcare and drive out costs if people want to have their cake and eat it too.  You think you can have total flexibility and manage costs.  We have to make some hard decisions and push people to drugs, locations, treatments, etc. that offer similar quality at a lower cost.  That’s not going to be easy.

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2 Responses to “Why Does WSJ Villanize CVS Caremark?”

  1. Total flexibility in drug acquisition with lower costs is certainly possible. The drug industry just has to quit pushing people to drug outlets of any form. The hard decision that they have to make is to do nothing. Can’t you see that the business of creating illnesses for a new drug to treat is not in the public interest?

    The ultimate business of pharma companies is to create patients.

  2. George,

    I agree — the article was quite pejorative and did not present a balanced view. I posted my comments this morning:

    http://www.drugchannels.net/2009/05/debate-over-cvs-caremarks-tactics-heats.html

    Regards,
    Adam

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