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    Small Doses: March 2018 Edition

    Easy-to-swallow news and studies for the busy pharmacist.


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    CVS Program Aims to Cut Rheumatoid Arthritis Costs

    CVS Health has launched Transform Rheumatoid Arthritis Care to help pharmacy benefit management clients better manage care and costs.

    Drugs to treat RA account for nearly half of overall specialty drug trends, according to CVS, and clients enrolled in the new program could see savings of up to 5% on their annual RA drugs. The program includes value-based management strategies, including outcomes-based contracts and a new indication-based formulary for autoimmune conditions.

    Related article: CVS Limits Opioid Use

    "Treating rheumatoid arthritis costs the U.S. healthcare system $19 billion a year. Both spend and trend have also been rising for the autoimmune category in recent years and market analysts expect this category to be the fastest-growing drug class over the next five years," says  Alan Lotvin, MD, executive vice president for CVS Specialty, the specialty pharmacy of CVS Health.

    "Our program is unique in that we can pull together resources enabled by our integrated pharmacy care model to deliver both a truly member-focused clinical management program, while also helping to manage the rising costs within the autoimmune category through new approaches to contracting and formulary management.”

    Members enrolled in the program receive personalized care and disease-specific expertise from the RA CareTeam, which includes specially-trained pharmacists and nurses. “The RA CareTeam provides a range of support specific to the member's needs including symptom, comorbidity, and side effect management; care coordination; and coaching and education,” according to CVS Health. The RA CareTeam also offers initial clinical assessments, benefits verification, and medication dispensing and distribution.

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