Company Voluntarily Exits State of Ohio Employee Plan to
Demonstrate Its Commitment to Patient Care and the Value of Retail
WOONSOCKET, R.I.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 18, 2005--
CVS/pharmacy (NYSE: CVS), America's #1 retail pharmacy will
voluntarily exit the pharmacy network established to service Ohio
state employees as of April 18, 2005.
The state of Ohio plan, administered by Express Scripts Inc.,
requires its members to use Express Script's own mail service facility
after a maintenance prescription is filled two times at a community
pharmacy. If the patient chooses to subsequently refill a prescription
at a retail pharmacy, the insurance program will not provide coverage.
CVS reached its decision to no longer participate in this plan after
efforts to negotiate a plan modification with Express Scripts that
would permit customers to fill 90-day maintenance medication
prescriptions at retail stores were unsuccessful.
In January 2004, CVS announced that it would not participate in
new prescription benefit programs that mandate filling chronic
prescriptions through a mail order service facility. CVS wants to
ensure patients have the choice of filling these long-term maintenance
medications at either their local community pharmacy or through a mail
"The primary issue here is patient choice. Consumers should not be
subject to plan designs that force them to forfeit choice and their
access to a community pharmacist who they value and trust," said
Eileen Howard Dunn, Vice President of Corporate Communications and
Community Relations at CVS/pharmacy. "We are not opposed to dispensing
medications via the mail. In fact, through our PharmaCare subsidiary,
CVS operates one of the largest mail order pharmacies in the country.
What we do oppose are prescription plans that severely limit patients'
ability to choose their preferred channel of delivery. "
"We sincerely regret any disruption this may cause our customers
on the State of Ohio Employee plan," Howard Dunn added. "However, we
feel strongly that plans like this one are not in our patients' best
interest, as they lose the option to access personal interaction and
counseling from a community pharmacist. Our goal is to ensure that
patients have access to any channel they prefer at any point in time."
CVS is America's #1 retail pharmacy, operating more than 5,300
retail and specialty pharmacy stores in 36 states and the District of
Columbia. With more than 40 years of dynamic growth in the retail
pharmacy industry, CVS is committed to being the easiest pharmacy
retailer for customers to use. CVS has created innovative approaches
to serve the healthcare needs of all customers through its
CVS/pharmacy stores; its online pharmacy, CVS.com; and its pharmacy
benefit management and specialty pharmacy subsidiary, PharmaCare
Management Services. General information about CVS is available
through the Investor Relations portion of the Company's website, at
Eileen Howard Dunn, 401-770-4561