CVS offers 'guaranteed net cost' for pharmacy benefit clients

CVS Health on Wednesday said that as of January 1, it will offer a new prescription benefit option guaranteeing its health plan clients 100% of any rebates, discounts, or other fees paid by drug makers. The new plan model is aimed at providing greater drug cost simplicity, predictability, and transparency, according to company officials.

CVS Health on Wednesday said that as of January 1, it will offer a new prescription benefit option guaranteeing its health plan clients 100% of any rebates, discounts, or other fees paid by drug makers. The new plan model is aimed at providing greater drug cost simplicity, predictability, and transparency, according to company officials. The "guaranteed net cost" option could also deflect growing criticism that PBMs benefit from the widening gap between pharmaceutical list prices and their lower net cost after hefty rebates paid by drug makers to secure coverage and access to their products. PBMs such as CVS' Caremark unit make a profit by using their scale to negotiate drug prices and by providing cost-management strategies to health plans. Under its new option, CVS takes on the risk of drug price inflation and shifts in drug use.