CVS Health responds to Trump Administration's plans to lower drug prices

Press enter to search
Close search
Open Menu

CVS Health responds to Trump Administration's plans to lower drug prices

By Sandra Levy - 07/17/2018
CVS Health highlighted the steps it has taken to hold down drug costs and bring innovative solutions to market to help consumers, in a letter to Health & Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, in response to the request for information on the Trump Administration's Blueprint to Lower Drug Prices.

"Until drug manufacturers reduce the high price they set for these drugs, we know this problem is not going away," the company said in the letter. "We support the Administration's goal to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs for consumers and we are using every innovative tool possible to bring down the cost of drugs ourselves,” the company said.

CVS Health continued, “Until drug manufacturers reduce the high price they set for these drugs, we know this problem is not going away. We support the Administration's goal to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs for consumers and we are using every innovative tool possible to bring down the cost of drugs ourselves."

The letter went on to state, "As a pharmacy benefit manager, CVS Health negotiates the lowest possible cost from drug manufacturers for our 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.

"Even in an environment where the list prices of drugs are continually rising, we kept drug price growth at a minimal 0.2% in 2017, the lowest in five years, despite manufacturer brand list prices increases on drugs near 10%. Further, over 30% of our clients spent less per member in 2017 than they did in 2016 on prescription drug costs. We return over 95% of rebates to commercial clients and their members. For Medicare Part D plans, effectively 100% of the rebates are passed through to help lower premiums, which reduce 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."

"CVS Health provides availability of rebates at the point-of-sale as an option for all clients. In addition to helping consumers reduce out of pocket costs, this approach demonstrates the true cause of rising drug prices for consumers, which is the price set by pharmaceutical manufacturers. For consumers in high deductible health plans, the availability of point of sale rebates on their medications before their deductible is met, can be a key solution to help consumers stay adherent on their essential medications by making them affordable."

"We are also using an innovative technology solution to bring real-time benefits information to the point of prescribing. Through their electronic health record system, prescribers are able to see member-specific out of pocket costs for a selected drug based on where they are at that moment in their deductible and up to five lowest-cost clinically appropriate therapeutic alternatives, specific to the member's formulary."