) recently extended its innovative Pharmacy Advisor program to
cover five additional chronic conditions, namely asthma,
depression, osteoporosis, breast cancer and chronic obstructive
These condition-based programs are an interventional measure to
inform pharmacists when patients are non-adherent to their
medication regimen or have suffered a gap in care. Prior to the
extension, CVS's Pharmacy Advisor was directed at diabetes and
cardiovascular conditions, with more than 3.8 million
interventions to date.
CVS witnessed an additional uptake in Pharmacy Advisor program in
2012 and the recent extension reflects its high success rate. The
extension should further drive adoption rates by increasing the
number of lives covered under Pharmacy Advisor. This is likely to
increase the profitability of CVS going forward.
The Need for Pharmacy Advisor
According to estimates, medication non-adherence costs the U.S.
economy up to $300 billion annually. Studies reveal that low
medication adherence is associated with chronic conditions.
Further, the incidence of medication persistence (length of time
a patient continues to take a prescribed drug) is lower for
individuals with chronic diseases.
As per the New England Healthcare Institute, medication adherence
programs for individuals can reduce healthcare costs and improve
patient outcomes. Further, a study published in the
journal suggests that intervention by pharmacists can reduce gaps
in care. In light of these facts, the extension of Pharmacy
Advisor should improve medication adherence for chronic
conditions across the U.S.
The extension of the Pharmacy Advisor is the latest addition to
CVS's several near-term growth drivers. With a favorable selling
season, its fourth-quarter and annual results sailed past the
corresponding Zacks Consensus Estimates. The company's forecast
for 2013 also encourages market sentiments.
Given this backdrop, the estimate revision trend for CVS reflects
a bullish sentiment. Consequently, the stock carries a Zacks Rank
#2 (Buy). Besides CVS,
), carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) are expected to do
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