Highlights From The CVS Caremark Insights Report 2011

CVS Caremark has been on a roll lately releasing lots of research especially in the adherence area. They just released another study this week that said:

In a study published online this week in the Journal of the American Pharmacists Association (JAPhA) the researchers said,”Approximately one-half of caregivers reported they are more likely to forgo their own medications than the medication needs of their caregivees, especially if cost was a problem, and that caring for their family members was more important than caring for themselves.” The researchers added, “Our findings indicate care-giving status may be an important characteristic for providers to identify and that caregivers may represent a fertile target for adherence interventions to improve chronic disease management and prevent chronic disease.”

But, today, I want to focus on their drug trend report called Insights which was released a few weeks ago. The report begins with a focus on change pointing out a few facts which will change our healthcare experience. Here’s part of the introductory letter by Per Lofberg, the President of Caremark Pharmacy Services.

We all know change is a constant, in this industry and in life, but the change we face over the next several years is monumental and unprecedented. The sweeping nature of the health care reform legislation makes it difficult, as even the government admits, to predict how the system and its stakeholders will respond. Regardless of how much is unknown and “still to be determined” about reform, all of us continue to face the urgent, ongoing need to reduce health care spending and simultaneously improve health outcomes.

They take a different approach than Express Scripts (see review of this year’s drug trend report) and Medco in their drug trend reports which are more encyclopedic in their breakdown of class by class. CVS Caremark poses questions by group and then presents data to address those questions.  They focus on health reform and overall changes to the market dynamic.  [Both Adam Fein and I review most/all of these reports every year so I’d encourage you to look at both of our blogs if you want historical facts or comments about comparing the drug trend reports.]

  • Employer: Benefit costs are hurting our profitability. Something’s got to change.
    • Only 6% of employers believe their company will be better off as a result of healthcare reform.
  • Health Plan: How do I compete, comply, and control costs in this new world?
    • 120M members will be seeking or changing coverage between 2012-2016.
  • Physician: My practice is already stretched to the limit.
    • The US will have about 159,000 fewer doctors than it needs by 2025.
  • Consumer: Where do we go from here?
    • In 2010, 1 in 4 households reported having trouble paying medical bills.

Key Statistics:

  • Overall trend = 2.4%
  • Non-specialty trend = 0.8%
  • GDR for 2010 was 71.5%
  • Specialty trend = 13.7%

Specialty now makes up 14.2% of their BOB (book of business) overall spending…[something that some people are predicting will be close to 40% in under 5 years].

I really like how they breakout the charts by type of client (employer, health plan, and TPAs) since they have different approaches to trend management. Here’s the health plan one:

They talk about some of the future trend influencers:

  1. Economy
  2. Aging population
  3. Chronic condition prevalence
  4. Changing condition guidelines
  5. Health care reform
  6. Adherence
  7. Generic launches
  8. Specialty growth
  9. Brand price increases
  10. Less predictable events – weather, flu impact

Like others…they are saying that GDRs (generic dispensing rates) of 80% are now possible by 2012! Talk about a change in the past decade and why there is so much pressure on the manufacturers.

They mention it in the publication, but they’ve also issued some press about their effort to target the specialty spend that happens under the medical benefit. They estimate that 80% of the drug spend in the medical benefit is from specialty drugs with cancer representing 46% and three other categories representing more than 2%:

  • Anemia and neutropenia
  • Osteoarthritis and RA
  • Immune disorders

Given their broad footprint, they pose an answer rather than a question from the next constituent – the pharmacist:

I know I can make a real difference for people.

One of the big areas of focus for leveraging that F2F relationship is adherence:

They provide an updated statistic on average Rxs PMPY of 12.6.

One of their big studies from the year was the one that was published around savings related to adherence:

I’ll end with a statement they highlight at the end:

“Every member interaction is an opportunity to improve outcomes for the plan and the member.”

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