CVS takes aim at 'hyperinflated' drug costs

With drug prices increasing five times the rate of inflation, CVS Health is working to make prescriptions more affordable by continuously removing drugs with hyperinflated prices from its formulary.

CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefit manager arm of CVS, initially launched the program to remove hyperinflated drugs from its formulary in 2017. Under the program, CVS Caremark removes drugs that have cheaper, clinical equivalents or those that have prices not backed by quality metrics.

So far, CVS Caremark has identified five drugs to remove as default options for physicians, according to a company news release.

CVS says it is able to keep prices down for its PBM clients by continually reviewing drug prices and finding the alternatives.

CVS Caremark said that despite drug prices increasing by 25 percent in 2018, it was able to keep price growth at 3.1 percent.

Its clients spent an average of $88.30 per 30-day supply of drugs compared to $102.58 for clients who purchased their prescriptions from PBMs that do not remove hyperinflated drugs.

Read the full news release here.

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