Taking the Guesswork Out of Prescription Drug Prices

CVS Health uses Epic to help bring prescription drug cost transparency to providers at the point of care


Regularly taking prescribed medications is key for patients managing chronic conditions like diabetes, but many patients struggle to pay for the medications they need. CVS Health aims to help address this disparity by giving clinicians information in electronic medical records, including Epic, about the cost of medications and lower-cost alternatives as they’re being prescribed.

When providers prescribe a medication, they see information in Epic from CVS Health’s database that shows clinically equivalent medications that might cost less, such as a generic drug or therapeutic alternative. Providers see what the medication will cost the patient at the pharmacy, as well as insurance plan information such as prescription benefits and needed prior authorizations. This information helps avoid surprises when patients fill a prescription.

“All too often, the patient goes to the pharmacy to pick up their medication, only to find out that the prescription is not covered or they require a prior authorization,” says Casey Leonetti, SVP of Pharmacy Benefit Management Innovation at CVS Health. “We’ve found that a majority of the time, when given the option, prescribers will choose the lower cost or covered alternative,” she said. “This information is helping providers make their decisions with patient cost and convenience in mind. This is the right thing to do.”

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