Specialty Pharmacy Drives CVS Health’s First Quarter 2021 Results

CVS Health’s first quarter 2021 total revenues increased 3.5% to $69.1 billion from $66.8 billion compared to the same period last year. Adjusted operating income increased 2.2% and cash flow from operations decreased 12.5% during the quarter compared to the same period last year.

Specialty Pharmacy revenue increased 7.2% year-over-year as a result of the company’s trend management programs, which are driving more customers into the company’s channels. Specialty Pharmacy spend management also continue to remain a growth driver.

CVS Caremark, the company’s Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) recently announced a larger PBM contract with the Government-wide Service Benefit Plan (also known as the Federal Employee Program), which has provided benefits to the federal workforce for 60 years and covers 5.5 million employees, retirees and their families.

CVS Health has been the pharmacy benefit manager for the Service Benefit Plan since 1993 and has partnered with them to provide and evolve the pharmacy services their members need over the many years.

With the new contract effective Jan. 1, 2022, CVS Health regained the specialty pharmacy business – which was lost in 2018 – while also retaining the mail, retail and clinical pharmacy services in the current contract.

CVS Health also has been proactively informing members and patients about the benefits of both the Specialty Connect and Specialty Expedite programs to improve care.

Specialty Expedite uses digital tools to help get patients started on new medications quickly. CVS Health works with providers to streamline prior authorization for prescriptions, and with insurance companies to verify benefits coverage.

Specialty Connect offers patients the choice of drop-off and pick-up of specialty prescriptions at any one of more than 9,000 CVS Pharmacy locations, or delivery to the location of their choosing. Being able to access medications wherever they prefer helps patients stay on their treatments and avoid complications and hospitalizations.


Takeaway: CVS Health’s integration of Omnicare into the company’s Retail/LTC segment continues to lessen the business’s impact on financial results