As policy makers set the nation’s agenda for health care reform, Thomas Ryan, chairman, president and chief executive officer of CVS Caremark Corp., based in Woonsocket, R.I., has earned a voice at the table.
National Association of Chain Drug Stores President and CEO Steven Anderson said Ryan’s perspectives and insights are highly valued and respected not only by the NACDS board but throughout the industry.
Sheer numbers alone reveal the clout the company, which generated $87.5 billion in revenue last year, can wield in the health care arena. As the largest provider of retail prescriptions in the U.S., CVS retail pharmacies fill more than one out of six retail scripts or about 17%-18% of the retail scripts in the country, Ryan told analysts during a May first-quarter conference call. He noted the company has invested $165 billion in technology and does 25%-26% of all the electronic prescriptions in the U.S.
CVS Caremark’s pharmacy services business is all-encompassing with 58 retail specialty pharmacies, 19 specialty mail-order pharmacies and seven mail-services pharmacies. The company provides sponsors and participants with a network of over 60,000 pharmacies, including 6,923 CVS/pharmacy stores. In addition, it operates 560 MinuteClinics, most within CVS stores.
Throughout a career that spans over 30 years at CVS, Ryan has grown the company through acquisitions. The last year was no exception as the company completed its first anniversary of the $26.5 billion merger of Caremark Rx that made CVS one of the country’s largest pharmacy benefit managers. Earlier this year, the National Community Pharmacist Association asked the Federal Trade Commission to reexamine the merger and investigate alleged anticompetitive practices of the CVS Caremark entity.
CVS Caremark also beat out its competitor Walgreen Co. last year in acquiring Longs Drug Stores for $2.6 billion. That deal scored CVS Caremark 541 stores in California, Hawaii, Nevada and Arizona as well as Rx America, a PBM subsidiary.
While the Longs acquisition placed CVS Caremark in a market-leading position in northern and central California, the recession has stressed those markets the most. Managing those stores through the economic downturn will be a challenge as will continuing to deliver on Caremark and integrating the MinuteClinics into a seamless product flow, said Brendan Langan, director of retail insights for Management Ventures, Cambridge, Mass.
— Christina Veiders