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CVS Caremark Health Management Programs Help Multiple Sclerosis Patients Better Manage Weight Issues and Improve BMI

Review finds more than half of MS patients are overweight or obese

WOONSOCKET, R.I., March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) today said it is working to help Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients manage their weight after reviewing data that found more than half of individuals with MS can be classified as being either overweight or obese. A recent review of CVS Caremark health management clients' plan participants with MS, found 32 percent reported height and weight indicating they were overweight and 26 percent reported measurements that classified them as clinically obese. The study also found that compared to those individuals with MS of normal weight, individuals with MS who are overweight or obese have an increased risk for high cholesterol (overweight = 1.4 times/obese = 1.7 times at-risk), high blood pressure (overweight = 1.6 times/obese = 2.4 times), diabetes (overweight = 2 times/obese = 4.9 times), and coronary artery disease (overweight = 1.6 times/obese = 1.7 times).

"Weight management can be particularly difficult for patients with Multiple Sclerosis who may be dealing with reduced mobility as a result of the progressive nature of their disease," said Troyen A. Brennan, M.D., M.P.H., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, CVS Caremark. "In addition, the co-morbid conditions commonly associated with being overweight or obese can add an additional burden for these patients already living with an unpredictable and chronic condition."

The study followed MS patients enrolled in condition management support within the CVS Caremark Health Management program who were identified as being overweight or obese over a two-year period. At the end of the study period, almost one quarter (22 percent) of participants had experienced a two-point drop in BMI and an additional 11 percent had a 3-point or more reduction in BMI.

"Our Proactive Pharmacy Care approach enables us to offer our clients a variety of programs such as CVS Caremark Health Management, which engages participants in their health care, provides education and promotes self-management to help improve health, minimize complications, slow disease progression and reduce medical costs such as hospital admissions and ER visits over the long term," said Dr. Brennan.

The CVS Caremark condition management approach is focused on achieving best-in-class results by engaging and motivating participants with chronic conditions to take a more active role and achieve optimum health care status through regular counseling and support. The program provides support for a variety of chronic diseases including multiple sclerosis, and patients enrolled in the program receive personalized information and education from highly skilled registered nurses through regularly scheduled out-bound calls, mailings and electronic correspondence. The nurses also conduct assessments to determine areas where patients may need additional support and then provide customized information and interventions to help manage any identified issues such as, treatment/medication adherence, symptom management or self care.

This study evaluated aggregated and de-identified data for more than 8,000 Multiple Sclerosis patients from the CVS Caremark Health Management Claims and Survey Databases who had incurred claims between 10/01/06 and 09/31/08. All study participants were continuously eligible for medical and pharmacy benefits through the evaluation period. This analysis is an observational study only, and the results from this analysis demonstrate a relationship between MS, weight management, and other co-morbidities; however, as in most observational studies, the causal nature of this relationship cannot be strictly determined.

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, General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Investor Relations section of the Company's Web site, at, as well as through the press room section of the Company's Web site, at

    Media Contact:

    Steve Campanini                    Christine Cramer
    CVS Caremark                       CVS Caremark
    Corporate Communications           Corporate Communications
    (401) 770-5005                     (401) 770-3317

SOURCE CVS Caremark Corporation
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