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CVS Launches New Specialty Pharmacy Solution


The drug store retailer aims to help patients get started on the most appropriate therapy sooner.

specialty drugs
Prem Shah

Prem Shah

CVS Specialty announced the launch of Specialty Expedite, a pharmacy solution that uses technology to help patients get medications significantly faster, and keep them informed of the status of their prescription.

“Our new Specialty Expedite tool is one more way that we’re leveraging technology to help enable a more streamlined prescription on-boarding process, shortening it to as little as three days, which ultimately helps get patients started on appropriate therapy faster,” says Prem Shah, executive vice president, Specialty and PBM Product Innovation, CVS Health. “In specialty pharmacy especially, getting started on the right medication quickly is very important to overall disease management and clinical outcomes. In addition, the tool also helps ensure that a payer's formulary and plan design are closely followed and ultimately, also can help a patient get started on the most appropriate medication faster.”

Altogether, this can help improve medication adherence and also may help to avoid costly downstream medical expenses associated with non-compliance or patients who may fail to initiate on therapy, according to Shah.

According to Shah, the healthcare system is in the midst of a digital transformation, but some areas are moving slower than others. “The prior authorization process has historically been manual, with prescribers and insurers having to exchange multiple faxes and phone calls, sometimes taking several weeks to complete the prescription onboarding process,” Shah says.

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CVS Expedite streamlines this process by securely gathering appropriate patient information, including insurance, lab work, and diagnosis codes via a doctor’s electronic health record system instead of sharing through fax. The process also cuts down on paperwork and phone calls, resulting in fewer errors and more efficiencies.

“In addition, Specialty Expedite expands the way in which we are able to leverage technology to deliver a better patient experience,” Shah says. “This allows us to better support them throughout their specialty journey. For example, patients can opt in to receive real-time status updates via email or text, so that they have real-time information about the status of their prescriptions. In addition, we recently rolled out a Secure Messaging platform, which provides a high-touch digital experience for our patients and can help improve medication adherence. In fact, our data showed that optimal adherence for patients with either MS or RA receiving this digital clinical support improved by 3.82% and 2.12% points, respectively.”

“CVS Health has more consumer touch points than any other healthcare company-enabling us to reach each patient when, where and how they need us. Specialty Expedite is the latest example of how we are using these touch points and technology to improve the specialty pharmacy experience.”

“In addition, this connected solution helps address pain points in specialty pharmacy prescribing as we work to create a more seamless specialty prescription onboarding process. Ultimately, this will help get a patient started on the most appropriate therapy sooner and on their path to better health.”

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