|CIGNA And Merck Sign Performance-Based Contract
CIGNA said that it has reached an agreement with Merck & Co. Inc. that is unique in the industry.
The agreement will benefit CIGNA customers through
increased discounts on Merck’s oral anti-diabetes medications
Januvia and Janumet. These drugs are used in conjunction with diet and
exercise to improve glycemic (blood sugar) control in adults with type
2 diabetes, a condition that has reached epidemic proportions in the
"Merck should be recognized as the first major
pharmaceutical company to offer increased discounts on its oral
anti-diabetic products, supporting CIGNA’s efforts to reduce A1C
levels for individuals with diabetes, regardless of what medication
they may be taking," said Eric Elliott, president of CIGNA pharmacy
CIGNA will review available A1C lab values for people
taking any oral anti-diabetic medications, and, if at the end of the
year, A1C values have improved, the discounts Merck offers on Januvia
and Janumet will increase. In an effort to help improve medication
adherence, CIGNA will also review claims data for individuals with
CIGNA pharmacy benefits who are on Januvia or Janumet during that same
time period to determine if these individuals are taking the
medications as prescribed by their physicians. If they are, Merck will
increase the discounts it offers CIGNA on these medications even more.
These savings can be shared in various ways with
CIGNA’s customers. CIGNA said it encouraged its customers to
adopt medication adherence programs as an effective way to improve
health and lower healthcare costs.
"This alignment is exactly the kind of innovation that
supports the ultimate goal of better health for the patient. Our
primary goal should be aligning incentives so that the result is a
healthier individual. We applaud CIGNA and Merck, and we look for
increasing evidence that this kind of thinking can improve the health
of our families, our businesses and our communities," said Cyndy Nayer,
president and CEO of the Center for Health Value Innovation.
CIGNA has programs that help individuals take their
medications appropriately to stop the progression of their diabetes,
which can result in heart or kidney failure, amputations or blindness.
CIGNA’s programs are designed to prevent unnecessary emergency
room visits or hospitalizations by providing cost-effective access to
appropriate medications. Elliott said that this agreement with Merck
provided added incentive to help reduce blood sugar levels for people
with type 2 diabetes.
"This performance-based contract is a very good first
step to linking discounts with improved medication adherence and
reduction of A1C levels for individuals with type 2 diabetes. It
complements other CIGNA initiatives, such as the Save with Generics and
Diabetes Outcome Improvement Programs, which aim to reduce cost and
improve outcomes for people with diabetes," said Lisa Zeitel, a
principal at Buck Consultants, an ACS company.
CIGNA offers a range of other programs to help people
who have diabetes stay as healthy as possible. The company offers
health and wellness online tools including the Prescription Drug Price
Comparison tool to help individuals take their medications
appropriately. The programs help identify barriers to taking
medications, such as side effects or cost, and help people overcome
those barriers so they are more likely to stay on their needed
Addresses: CIGNA Two Liberty Plaza, 1601 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19192; (215) 761-1000, www.cigna.com. Merck & Co. Inc., One Merck Drive, PO Box 100, Whitehouse Station, NJ 08889; (908) 423-1000, www.merck.com.