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CVS Caremark Presents Ongoing Behavioral Change Research Partnership Research to the Pittsburgh Business Group on Health
Date:9/9/2010

WOONSOCKET, R.I., Sept. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- CVS Caremark (NYSE: CVS) today said that ongoing research into how behavioral economics impacts health care choices found that when consumers are presented with a clear and active choice in a voice-recorded message to select automatic prescription refills, rather than a passive default notification, they are twice as likely to choose the automatic option.

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Those findings from research being managed by the company's Behavior Change Research Partnership (BCRP) were presented today at a Pittsburgh Business Group on Health symposium by Troyen A. Brennan, MD, MPH, executive vice president and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark.

Last March, CVS Caremark established the BCRP to study how behavioral economics impacts consumer health care decisions and to help the company better understand why some patients stop taking maintenance medications for chronic illnesses. The panel is led by Punam Anand Keller of the Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College; George Loewenstein, Carnegie Mellon University; and Kevin Volpp, University of Pennsylvania's Medical School and The Wharton School of Business. The presentation continued discussion of BCRP research that was first presented at a Center for Disease Control symposium in Atlanta, GA in August.

"The preliminary findings show that by making choices clear and by streamlining messages, consumers sign up at twice the rate of those who are passively presented opt-in choices," Brennan said.  "This research will help us develop programs to encourage people to stay on their medications because non-adherence is costing the health care system billions of dollars every year."  

The BCRP research, "Active Choice," is testing options in four communication channels: through interactive Web sign-ins; during in-bound customer calls to care centers; through automated outbound telephone calls; and through direct mail. The testing shows some options offered to consumers today are overlooked because the choices are not readily transparent.

Past industry studies show one-quarter of people receiving prescriptions never fill their first prescriptions, and patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes and coronary artery disease adhere to their ongoing medication regimen about half of the time. Non-adherence to essential medications is a frequent cause of preventable hospitalizations and patient illness, with costs to the U.S. health care system estimated at about $300 billion annually.

About CVS CaremarkCVS Caremark is the largest pharmacy health care provider in the United States. Through our integrated offerings across the entire spectrum of pharmacy care, we are uniquely positioned to provide greater access, to engage plan members in behaviors that improve their health and to lower overall health care costs for health plans, plan sponsors and their members. CVS Caremark is a market leader in mail order pharmacy, retail pharmacy, specialty pharmacy, and retail clinics, and is a leading provider of Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plans. As one of the country's largest pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), we provide access to a network of more than 64,000 pharmacies, including approximately 7,100 CVS/pharmacy® stores that provide unparalleled service and capabilities. Our clinical expertise includes one of the industry's most comprehensive disease management programs. General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Company's Web site at http://info.cvscaremark.com.Media Contact:Jon SandbergCVS Caremark(401)770 4914jlsandberg@cvs.comJon TashjianWeber Shandwick(617) 520-7118jtashjian@webershandwick.com
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