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CVS Pharmacy announced CVS CostVantage, a new approach that evolves the traditional pharmacy reimbursement model and brings greater transparency and simplicity to the system. CVS CostVantage will define the drug cost and related reimbursement with contracted pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and payors, using a transparent formula built on the cost of the drug, a set markup, and a fee that reflects the care and value of pharmacy services. These changes will also help ensure that CVS Pharmacy locations will continue to be a critical touchpoint for consumers to access affordable health care in their communities.

CVS Pharmacy plans to launch CVS CostVantage with PBMs for their commercial payors in 2025, working together to ensure a smooth transition.

Following on from the launch of its Choice Formulary program earlier this year, CVS Caremark also introduced TrueCost, a model innovation that offers client pricing reflecting the true net cost of prescription drugs, with visibility into administrative fees. Simplified pricing will help consumers be confident that their pharmacy benefit is providing the best possible price and will allow members to have stable access to our national pharmacy network.

Through this approach, the company said that clients will have the flexibility to choose a pharmacy benefit model that works best for the unique needs of their members and plan, and CVS Caremark TrueCost provides another valuable option for them. CVS Caremark plans to launch CVS Caremark TrueCost in 2025.

CVS is shifting course amid a changing commercial and regulatory landscape for drug pricing. Blue Shield of California announced in August it would revamp how it pays for medicine by enlisting five companies to handle the chain of getting drugs from manufacturer to consumer – instead of a single entity known as a pharmacy-benefit manager.

“The current pharmacy system is extremely expensive, enormously complex, completely opaque, and designed to maximize the profit of participants instead of the quality, convenience and cost-effectiveness for consumers,” Paul Markovich, chief executive of Blue Shield of California, said at the time.

To help demonstrate the connection and convenience CVS Health uniquely delivers, CVS Healthspire will be the new branded name for the company’s Health Services segment, including Caremark, Cordavis TM, Oak Street Health®, Signify Health®, and MinuteClinic®. The groups within CVS Healthspire will continue to focus on integration across the company’s assets to deliver connected patient care, pharmacy benefits, and innovative provider support solutions in communities across the country, making expert care simple, more accessible, and more affordable.  

The CVS Healthspire brand will begin to roll out publicly this month and advance throughout 2024. Consumers will initially see “Part of CVS Healthspire” appear on select CVS Health care delivery offerings across digital and physical assets as the company continues to create an integrated ecosystem for patients.

While CVS Health’s business segments continue to be successful and profitable on their own, there is a sizable opportunity to continue strengthening these connections and create incremental value for the overall company.

A notable example was the recent improvement of Aetna’s Medicare Advantage Star Ratings. In just a year, by leveraging the power of the company’s cross-enterprise assets and executional excellence, Aetna was able to achieve 87% of their members in four star plans or better for the 2025 plan year, a recovery from 21% in the previous year.

“This achievement was due to the work across our Aetna, CVS Pharmacy, and CVS Caremark colleagues. Even more important than our ratings, these teams worked together to help members improve medication adherence and overcome barriers such as costs and transportation,” said Lynch. “Our strong performance in this area shows how we can quickly unite our businesses to achieve important common goals.”