Integrated approach to pharmacogenomic medicine to improve patient outcomes and reduce cost
Woonsocket, RI and Upper Saddle River, NJ -- November 10, 2009 -- CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS), the nation’s largest pharmacy health care provider, and Generation Health, Inc., a genetic benefit management company (GBM), today announced a strategic partnership to expand pharmacogenomic (PGx) clinical and testing services for CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management (PBM) clients to improve care for patients who either are non-responsive or have adverse reactions to their medications.
The proper application of pharmacogenomic medicine can help doctors evaluate a patient’s genetic make-up to determine whether a specific medication will be effective. Medical studies have found that in some instances people get little benefit and even face harmful and costly side effects from medications they take. Through this partnership CVS Caremark will use genetic testing to apply greater precision to client prescription management, with the goal of improving individual health outcomes and reducing overall medical costs.
CVS Caremark currently provides PGx intervention services in its specialty pharmacy business. This partnership expands upon those offerings to specialty pharmacy and introduces them for targeted drugs dispensed under the traditional PBM setting. The companies will initially focus on PGx clinical and testing programs that predict how a patient will respond to medications in areas of oncology, cardiovascular medicine, treatment of HIV and others. Pharmacogenomic programs can offer compelling clinical benefits, such as identifying HIV patients who do not respond to specific medications and therefore continue to experience disease progression, or help ensure that patients with breast cancer are prescribed the appropriate therapy based on the unique characteristics of their tumor. The programs can help prevent disease progression and avoid recurrences.
PGx clinical and testing services can also help reduce overall medical costs for clients by determining where some therapies will not be effective. That information allows doctors to determine and prescribe the most precise medication therapy treatments for their patient’s treatment.
“Personalized medicine is a fast-growing field, but the process for providing relevant and systematic clinical delivery of service needs to improve and evolve,” said Troyen A. Brennan, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of CVS Caremark. “We will integrate Generation Health’s unique skills in genomic medicine with the experience in benefit management of both companies to provide clients with a sophisticated, evidence-based clinical approach.”
“The emerging field of genomics is complex and challenging for health care payers and providers alike, yet critically important to how medicine is practiced today,” said Per Lofberg, President, CEO and co-founder of Generation Health. “Our focus on genomic medicine allows for a holistic approach that includes managing the process for determining hereditary risk for certain diseases, as well as for managing pharmacogenomic services. We intend to impact physician practice and patient wellbeing with accessible, affordable, and actionable information.”
The pharmacogenomic clinical services resulting from the strategic partnership are expected to be introduced to CVS Caremark’s PBM clients in the second quarter of 2010. The partnership will allow the companies to explore future programs in the medical diagnostics arena to encourage appropriate and cost effective testing for certain hereditary diseases, and eliminate unnecessary testing where evidence for clinical validity and utility is lacking.
CVS Caremark is making a minority equity investment in Generation Health and as part of the agreement Dr. Brennan will join the board of directors of Generation Health. No additional financial terms of the partnership arrangement are being disclosed.
About CVS Caremark
CVS Caremark is the largest provider of prescriptions in the nation. The Company fills or manages more than 1 billion prescriptions annually. Through its unmatched breadth of service offerings, CVS Caremark is transforming the delivery of health care services in the U.S. The Company is uniquely positioned to effectively manage costs and improve health care outcomes through its more than 7,000 CVS/pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores; its Caremark Pharmacy Services division (pharmacy benefit management, mail order and specialty pharmacy); its retail-based health clinic subsidiary, MinuteClinic; and its online pharmacy, CVS.com. General information about CVS Caremark is available through the Investor Relations section of the Company's Web site, at cvscaremark.com/investors, as well as through the press room section of the Company's Web site, at cvscaremark.com/newsroom.