High drug prices worry 83% of Americans: This is CVS' new solution

With 83 percent of Americans worrying about the rising price of prescriptions, CVS Health will roll out a comprehensive tool that alerts pharmacists to cheaper drug options when they fill patients' prescriptions in an effort to reign in drug costs.

CVS will launch the CVS Pharmacy Rx Savings Finder, which will enable pharmacists to evaluate prescription saving opportunities in real-time at the pharmacy counter.

For years, pharmacists have substituted generic drugs for brand name drugs, prescribed by a physician, to save patients money. This tool will allow pharmacists and consumers to question a physician's prescribing choice. The software will flag cheaper alternatives, and alert the pharmacist. Then, the pharmacist will relay the information to the patient and ask the patient to seek permission from their physician to switch to the less expensive option. CVS is also making this tool available to consumers through a mobile app.

"Until now, patients haven't had the appropriate tools available to them to help them manage these costs. To address this, CVS Health is giving expanded tools to patients, prescribers and pharmacists so they can evaluate prescription drug coverage in real-time and identify lower-cost alternatives," said Thomas Moriarty, chief policy and external affairs officer at CVS.

Another component of CVS' drug savings approach is its recently launched real-time benefits program, which aims to increase price transparency across all points of care. This tool, which is expected to eliminate dispensing delays, will give healthcare providers and pharmacy benefits manager members access to plan-specific, real-time information about medication costs and out-of-pocket costs at the point of prescribing and at the pharmacy.

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