Some customers returned to Walgreen pharmacies after the chain renewed its contract with pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, and CVS stores retained about 60% of the customers, industry expert Adam Fein estimates. Non-drugstore chains such as Walmart and Kroger picked up market share in 2013 through participation in insurers' preferred networks, Fein writes.
Drugstore giants such as Walgreen, CVS Caremark and Rite Aid anticipate an increase in demand for pharmacy and health-clinic services next year as millions of Americans gain insurance through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The companies have partnered with the Department of Health and Human Services to educate customers about enrollment.
Congress should address Medicare reform after dealing with sequestration, said Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich. However, the leading Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee expressed openness to changes to the Medicare retirement age and a proposal that would require drugmakers to issue a rebate for therapies sold to people eligible for Medicare and Medicaid.
The share of enrollees in the top three Medicare Part D plan sponsors -- UnitedHealthcare, CVS Caremark and Humana -- increased from 48% in 2011 to 57% a year later, driven in part by acquisitions and preferred pharmacy networks, writes industry expert Adam Fein. The growth puts the plans in a stronger position to negotiate prices with drugmakers, according to Fein.
Cleveland Clinic and MinuteClinic, a unit of CVS Caremark, have entered a partnership that calls for the full integration of their electronic health-record systems to boost patient care. Under the deal, Cleveland Clinic will provide services at some locations inside certain CVS drugstores in northeast Ohio that cater to individuals with acute minor ailments, giving them direct access to one of the leading hospitals in the U.S., officials said.