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CVS Caremark Expands Investment in Generation Health

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – CVS Caremark today announced that it would increase its stake in Generation Health. In addition, Generation Health CEO and President Per Lofberg will take over as president of CVS Caremark's pharmacy benefits management division.

Generation Health inked a deal with the country's largest pharmacy services provider last month to offer pharmacogenomic testing to CVS Caremark's PBM customers to predict their responses to treatments for cancer, cardiovascular diseases, and HIV.

"With this additional investment in Generation Health we are accelerating our commitment to personalized medicine and making genomic benefit management an integral part of our PBM offering," Tom Ryan, CEO of CVS Caremark, said in a statement. "We believe there will be a growing opportunity to tailor pharmaceutical treatment to patients based on genetic patterns.

Expanded PGx testing, with the help of Generation Health, will begin to be offered in the second quarter of 2010. CVS Caremark already provides pharmacogenomic testing services as part of its specialty pharmacy business.

At the time of the agreement, the partners announced that CVS Caremark would make a minority equity investment in Generation Health.

"This investment expands our clinical capabilities to improve pharmacy health care and is consistent with our integrated approach to help save payors and patients time and money while improving health outcomes." Ryan added in the statement.

Under the terms of the deal, although CVS Caremark will have financial and strategic ties to Generation Health, the genetic benefits management firm will "continue to operate as an independent, separate business from CVS Caremark offering a full range of GBM services to health care payors."

The partners did not disclose additional financial terms of the deal.

In the reshuffle, Rick Schatzberg will replace Lofberg as Generation Health's president and CEO and will also serve on the company's board of directors. In addition to being president of CVS Caremark's PBM division, Lofberg will remain on Generation Health's board of directors. It was previously announced that Troyen Brenna, CVS Caremark's chief medical officer, will also join Generation Health's board of directors.

As the new head of CVS Caremark's PBM services, Lofberg brings 30 years experience in the industry. He was previously chairman for Merck-Medco Managed Care, which later became Medco Health Solutions.

Schatzberg was one of the co-founders of Generation Health, and formerly the executive VP and chief marketing officer. Before coming to Generation Health he worked at Medco Health Solutions for 20 years in a number of executive leadership positions.

A more detailed version of this article appears in GenomeWeb Daily News sister publication Pharmacogenomics Reporter this week.

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