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CVS Caremark, Generation Health Select 13 Drugs for PGx Alliance

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – CVS Caremark and Generation Health today announced the 13 drug therapies that will be included in the initial offering of their integrated Genetic Benefit Management service.

The firms said that they are offering the industry's first Best Test Genetics Network, which coordinates pharmacogenomic testing for members of CVS Caremark's network.

The companies initially announced their alliance in November 2009 and said that they planned to offer PGx testing for certain drugs as of the second quarter of 2010. Generation Health, an Upper Saddle River, NJ-based firm that was founded in 2008 to help pharmacy benefit management companies implement genetic testing, will work with CVS Caremark to roll out the pharmacogenomic program.

The integrated service will be launched for "a select group of CVS Caremark's PBM clients in the months ahead," followed by an expansion to all clients in January 2011, the firms said.

"The emerging field of genomics is complex and challenging and this offering will allow employers to better manage the process for ensuring that their employees are receiving the most effective genetic testing and access to genetic experts, resulting in prescribing tailored to individuals," Generation Health CEO Rick Schatzberg said in a statement.

The drugs that have been selected thus far include six drugs dispensed generally through PBM services: Nolvadex (tamoxifen), Plavix (clopidogrel), Tabloid (thioguanine), Tegretol (carbamazepine), and Ziagen (abacavir). It also includes seven drugs dispensed through CVS Caremark's specialty pharmacy business: Pegasys (peginterferon alfa-2a), Copegus (ribavirin), Gleevec (imatinib mesylate), Tasigna (nilotinib), Sprycel (dasatinib), Tarceva (erlotinib), and Tykerb (lapatinib).

Woonsocket, RI-based CVS Caremark fills or manages more than 1 billion prescriptions annually. Through its PGx testing program, CVS Caremark hopes to manage costs and improve healthcare outcomes through its more than 7,000 CVS pharmacy and Longs Drugs stores; its PBM, mail order, and specialty pharmacy arm Caremark Pharmacy Services; its retail-based health clinic subsidiary MinuteClinic; and its online pharmacy, CVS.com. The PBM division, Caremark Pharmacy Services, provides services to more than 2,000 health plans.

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