CVS pharmacists will have new tools to help patients save money on drugs

CVS Health is rolling out a new tool to alert its pharmacists to cheaper drug options when they fill patients' prescriptions. CVS Pharmacy's Rx Savings Finder program flags a less expensive therapeutic equivalent, prompting the pharmacist to tell the patient and seek permission to ask their doctor to make the switch.

CVS Health is rolling out a new tool to alert its pharmacists to cheaper drug options when they fill patients' prescriptions. CVS Pharmacy's Rx Savings Finder program flags a less expensive therapeutic equivalent, prompting the pharmacist to tell the patient and seek permission to ask their doctor to make the switch. It is also being made available directly to CVS Caremark consumers through an app. Kevin Hourican, executive vice president of community pharmacy for CVS Pharmacy says that "before this tool was developed, they [pharmacists] would not know which was least expensive for that given customer's plan." Pharmacists would have had to run claims through the system manually to find a cheaper option. Pharmacists will also be able to easily check whether a 90-day prescription could be cheaper than three 30-day fills and look for other cost-savings, including coupons. Doctors are beginning to be able to access patient-specific drug pricing information through electronic health records when they are writing a prescription. CVS says doctors are receptive to the information, although the capability is being used by fewer than 10,000 doctors.