WOONSOCKET, R.I., May 11, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- In response to President Trump's special address on the high cost of prescription drugs, CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) today issued the following statement:
"At CVS Health we see every day the impact rising drug costs have on our patients. That's why we have developed and supported innovative solutions to lower health care costs and we look forward to partnering with leaders to continue to do so. We commend the Trump Administration's focus on reducing the cost of prescription drugs, and we agree more can and needs to be done.
"CVS Health is already well positioned to implement many of the key proposals outlined by the Administration. Today, CVS Health provides universal availability of rebates at the point of sale as an option for all clients to help their members save on out of pocket costs. We believe this approach leads to greater transparency in drug prices, and unquestionably demonstrates the true cause of rising drug costs for consumers: high list prices set by pharmaceutical manufacturers.
"CVS Health also provides patients with information on what they will pay out-of-pocket under their insurance plan for their prescription drugs and can also provide therapeutic alternatives that may be less expensive. This information reaches prescribers through an innovative e-prescribing system that can be utilized at the point of prescribing and at the pharmacy counter to quickly and seamlessly evaluate individual prescription savings opportunities in real time, saving patients up to $75 per prescription.
"CVS Health also supports several new initiatives that will help patients save money on their prescriptions, including reforms to Medicare Part D rebates that provide savings for seniors, not a windfall for drug manufacturers, and establishing an out-of-pocket cap for beneficiaries in Medicare Part D, which would meaningfully benefit seniors with extremely high drug costs. And as we have previously said, CVS Health does not engage in gag clauses and we support efforts to ban them. We believe that, working together with the Administration and Congress, we can advance effective solutions that meet our shared goals."
Policy solutions that lower drug prices for consumers and reduce out-of-pocket costs are aligned with CVS Health's business model and would not be expected to have a negative impact on profitability. The company has long been committed to utilizing all possible tools to reduce the cost of prescription drugs. These tools, combined with increasing competition in the marketplace by making more generics available, increasing the use of biosimilars, and advocating for eliminating tactics that stall competition, are essential in tackling the problem of high cost drugs.
As a pharmacy benefit manager, CVS Health negotiates the lowest possible net price from drug manufacturers for clients, which are health plans, employers, unions, government programs like Medicare Part D and Medicaid, and ultimately for the millions of Americans who pick up their prescriptions at pharmacy counters every day. CVS Health returns approximately 95 percent of discounts and other price concessions like rebates to commercial clients and their members, while at the same time keeping drug price growth at a minimal 0.2 percent, the lowest level in five years, despite manufacturer brand list price increases on drugs near 10 percent. For Medicare Part D plans, 100 percent of the rebates are passed through to lower premiums, which reduces costs for both the beneficiary and the government. The tools used by pharmacy benefit managers to remove costs from the health care system are projected to save $654 billion on drug costs over the next decade.
In 2013, CVS Health introduced the first Point of Sale (POS) rebate program for clients that today passes the savings from the rebates negotiated directly to approximately 10 million members. CVS Health also offers clients other savings opportunities such as preventive drug lists that make medications for many common chronic conditions available at a $0 copay.
About CVS Health
CVS Health is a pharmacy innovation company helping people on their path to better health. Through its more than 9,800 retail locations, more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics, a leading pharmacy benefits manager with approximately 94 million plan members, a dedicated senior pharmacy care business serving more than one million patients per year, expanding specialty pharmacy services, and a leading stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan, the company enables people, businesses and communities to manage health in more affordable and effective ways. This unique integrated model increases access to quality care, delivers better health outcomes and lowers overall health care costs. Find more information about how CVS Health is shaping the future of health at https://www.cvshealth.com.
Erin Shields Britt
SOURCE CVS Health