CVS Health's Troyen Brennan spoke on Friday about pharmacy care and its role in addressing health care costs at the National Business Group on Health's annual Business Health Agenda conference in Washington, D.C.
Brennan, executive vice president and chief medical officer for CVS, said that not taking prescribed medications is a serious issue when it comes to health in the U.S.
"Medication non-adherence can have a significant impact on patients' health outcomes, and it costs the nation's health care system nearly $300 billion every year," Brennan said. "Sadly, one of the most significant challenges is patients often don't take their medications. They forget, or they're confused, or they fail to understand why they should be taking them.”
CVS was the first national pharmacy to remove tobacco products from its shelves and is now looking to provide new ways to help patients utilize their health plans and health care providers to improve medication adherence. Specifically, Brennan spoke about CVS Health's Pharmacy Advisor program, which connects health care providers and health plans with pharmacists to help deliver better care and stresses the importance of taking prescribed medication.
"We can improve adherence and reduce gaps in care by connecting and integrating our interactions with patients and taking advantage of our ability to counsel patients at convenient touch points," Brennan said.
CVS Health has 7,800 pharmacies, 900 walk-in medical clinics and nearly 65 million plan members throughout the country.