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CVS Caremark Announces Results of Annual Employer Survey Validating Proactive Pharmacy Care Approach
Date:4/2/2009

Company highlights client adoption of programs designed to improve health outcomes and reduce costs

WOONSOCKET, R.I., April 2 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) today announced results of their annual client survey noting that a majority of the company's employer clients said they were more focused on strategies to change plan participant behavior and improve engagement rather than programs that achieved overall savings by simply shifting costs to the member. In fact, 65 percent of employer clients which participated in the survey indicated that plan design incentives to change behavior were a high priority and 56 percent mentioned wellness and disease management programs while only 15 percent of respondents focused on employer cost-share shifting.

"The current economic environment has understandably created a sense of urgency for companies to evaluate their benefit designs in order to meet financial goals, with 74 percent of our employer clients telling us that reducing overall health costs is their number one measure of success in the coming year," said Tom Ryan, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of CVS Caremark. "Furthermore, our research indicates that our clients are looking to CVS Caremark to help them accomplish these savings by increasing plan participant engagement in their health care rather than simply increasing their share of the cost."

The CVS Caremark Proactive Pharmacy Care model is designed to help engage members in their health care decisions in order to keep them healthier and help reduce overall health care costs. This approach helps CVS Caremark's PBM clients improve outcomes and manage costs by leveraging innovative programs such as Progressive Plan Design strategies, Maintenance Choice, ExtraCare Health, Specialty Guideline Management, outbound engagement strategies to promote mail and adherence to care programs.

"As the largest integrated pharmacy health care provider, we are able to leverage our multiple touch points across the continuum of pharmacy care and provide our clients with the most innovative programs to help them manage cost while improving health outcomes," said Ryan.

Progressive Plan Design to Encourage Use of Generics

CVS Caremark Progressive Plan Design strategies go beyond cost-shifting and are designed to help drive positive behavior change. Many of these plan designs incorporate a variety of strategies focused on increasing the use of less expensive generic medications as well as over-the-counter (OTC) products where appropriate. In 2008, the CVS Caremark PBM improved its Generic Dispensing Rate from 60 percent to an average of 65 percent, with many of the company's Best-in-Class clients already achieving rates above 70 percent. Furthermore, the majority of employer clients in the CVS Caremark client survey indicated they were either already using or adopting some of the more aggressive options to drive generic and OTC use in 2009, or were strongly considering implementing these plan designs in the future.

In addition, the introduction of the ExtraCare Health Card provides plan participants with access to discounts on more than 1,300 CVS/pharmacy brand items. This program provides employers which opt for plan designs that move branded medications with OTC equivalents to the highest tiers, with the opportunity to reinforce the use of lower cost drug options. Since the beginning of 2009, an additional one million ExtraCare Health Cards have been issued to help plan participants realize savings on their OTC purchases, bringing the total number of cards in circulation to over seven million since the launch of the program in 2008.

Preferred Pharmacies

The CVS Caremark Maintenance Choice program provides clients and their plan participants with the opportunity to realize the cost-savings of mail, along with the flexibility to select the most convenient way to receive medication - either via mail or at a local CVS/pharmacy. In fact, well over 65% of our plan participants live within 5 miles of one of our retail locations. This program addresses clients' priorities around convenient access for their members (78 percent of employer clients surveyed indicated that having a pharmacy available within five miles was a high or medium priority) as well as the added benefit of having the opportunity for a plan participant to engage in a face-to-face consultation with their local pharmacist to improve medication adherence (74 percent indicated this was a high or medium priority). The Maintenance Choice option is resonating with clients as a strategy to help them improve outcomes and reduce costs, with 200 of our clients, representing 2.4 million lives, currently participating in this program.

Specialty Pharmacy

Specialty pharmacy costs continue to outpace traditional pharmacy trend and managing specialty pharmacy trend appropriately is a priority for many of our clients. In fact 42 percent of our employer clients indicated they were interested in considering programs to reduce inappropriate utilization in this category. The CVS Caremark Specialty Guideline Management program is designed to prevent inappropriate utilization of these highly specialized and expensive medications outside of approved guidelines and indications. This program has helped CVS Caremark clients avoid in excess of $150 million in annual Specialty Pharmacy costs in 2008.

The CVS Caremark client survey was conducted on-line from November 1 through December 31, 2008 and includes responses from current CVS Caremark clients representing nearly 300 employers and 10.5 million lives.

About CVS Caremark

CVS Caremark is the largest provider of prescriptions in the nation. The Company fills or manages more than 1 billion prescriptions annually. Through its unmatched breadth of service offerings, CVS Caremark is transforming the delivery of health care services in the U.S. The Company is uniquely positioned to effectively manage costs and improve health care outcomes through its more than 6,900 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores; its Caremark Pharmacy Services division (pharmacy benefit management, mail order and specialty pharmacy); its retail-based health clinic subsidiary, MinuteClinic; and its online pharmacy, CVS.com. General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Investor Relations section of the Company's Web site, at www.cvscaremark.com/investors, as well as through the press room section of the Company's Web site, at www.cvscaremark.com/newsroom.


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SOURCE CVS Caremark
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