CVS misses an opportunity

CVS misses an opportunity

This morning we learned that CVS/Caremark (NYSE:CVS) launched a new program called ExtraCare Advantage for diabetes. According to a press release issued by the company; “Starting today, patients and caregivers can sign up for ExtraCare Advantage for Diabetes and earn double Extra Bucks on more than 100 products used to manage diabetes, from testing supplies like alcohol swabs and over-the-counter glucose test strips to batteries for glucose meters. In addition to earning double Extra Bucks that can be spent on almost anything in the store, patients and caregivers will receive special offers and discounts on their receipts and at the ExtraCare Coupon Center. A monthly e-newsletter that includes additional savings and tips on managing diabetes and maintaining a healthy lifestyle will be sent to all members.”

(Highlighting added by Diabetic Investor)

Leave it CVS to put product purchases ahead of education and this from a company that has sponsored studies that show that better educated patients are more compliant with therapy regimen and therefore spend more money in the pharmacy as they refill their prescriptions more frequently. Other studies have shown that educated patients monitor their glucose levels more frequently and by default use more test strips and therefore are in the pharmacy more frequently buying more test strips. And most importantly off all nearly every study has shown that educated patients achieve better outcomes which decreases overall healthcare costs and enhances productivity.

Diabetic Investor is still trying to figure out how rewarding patients with diabetes with more Extra Bucks will somehow translate into better outcomes. This is especially strange when one considers the only way they earn these Extra Bucks is by purchasing diabetes products. Heaven forbid CVS teach these patients how to use these products or why they should remain compliant on their therapy regimen. Nope for CVS it’s all about the bottom line and in reality patient education is just an after-thought.

We truly hope no one falls for this charade as this is nothing more than a frequent buyer program for customers who happen to have diabetes.  The goal here is not to help patients with diabetes achieve better outcomes, the goal here is simply to sell more products and earn more profits. Diabetic Investor has nothing against CVS making more money or earning higher profits. The shame here is that CVS could have achieved the exact same goal while truly helping patients with diabetes better manage their disease.

While it’s nice to more companies trying to help patients with diabetes, it would really something if someone would actually try and help these patients rather than just sell them more products. Education would accomplish this goal apparently CVS just doesn’t care.