NEW YORK If there was any doubt as to the value CVS Caremark places on personalized medicine, that doubt no longer should exist.
Clearly, the company believes that one area its PBM can create real value for payers is within pharmacogenomics or personalized medicine. Not only has CVS Caremark tapped Per Lofberg, co-founder of genetic benefit management company Generation Health, to serve as the PBM president, but it also has upped its stake in Generation Health.
Generation Health will continue to operate as a separate business from CVS Caremark, but CVS Caremark will have financial and strategic ties to the company, as well as representation on its board of directors.
The moves are undoubtedly in line with CVS Caremark’s efforts to move well beyond a traditional retail pharmacy role and into a pharmacy healthcare service company aimed at improving health outcomes and lowering healthcare costs.
PGx clinical services are expected to be introduced to CVS Caremark’s PBM clients in the second quarter 2010, and will initially focus on testing programs for medications in the areas of oncology, cardiovascular medicine and HIV, among others. In addition, the partnership opens the door for future programs to test for certain hereditary diseases.
According to Generation Health, genomic testing represents a $3 billion market that is growing 45% annually. There are at least 100 new tests added each year and they are usually priced at several hundred dollars each.