Pharmacy Advisor™ is CVS Caremark’s unique approach to help members with chronic conditions achieve better health outcomes by promoting improved medication adherence and closing gaps in care. Through the program, CVS Caremark engages PBM members who are diagnosed with chronic conditions, according to their expressed communication preferences and at points when they are most receptive to messages about their prescribed therapy: face-to-face when members choose to fill prescriptions at CVS/pharmacy or by phone when members choose mail service pharmacy. The use of these integrated tactics drives behavior change in the short term and over time, leading to better clinical outcomes. In addition to improving medication adherence, thus saving money and improving the quality of treatment, the program closes gaps in care for members with diabetes and directs members with chronic conditions to existing disease management programs where they can obtain additional support.
Recent research published in Health Affairs found that the Pharmacy Advisor program for diabetes increased both patient medication adherence rates and physician initiation of prescriptions, thereby improving care for diabetes patients and resulting in savings for health plans. The study provided further illustration of the central role pharmacists can play in improving the health of their patients and their unique position to be able to monitor patient adherence and effectively intervene when needed.
The study found that contacts by pharmacists with the patients and their doctors increased therapy initiation rates by as much as 39 percent for the population studied with an even higher increase of 68 percent for the group counseled at retail stores. Overall medication adherence rates increased by 2.1 percent, with face-to-face interventions by retail store pharmacists resulting in adherence rate increases of 3.9 percent. While expenditures for the counseling in the study totaled $200,000, the participating employer saved more than $600,000 through health care cost avoidance with the intervention group, a return on investment of $3 for every $1 spent on additional counseling. To learn more about this study, click here to read an overview of Advancing Adherence and the Science of Pharmacy Care Volume 3.