It’s essential for patients that are experiencing serious illness, including symptoms of COVID-19, to have access to necessary treatment and prescription medication. In efforts to protect those with chronic conditions from medication shortages, CVS Caremark recently set new guidelines to limit the purchase of essential medications.
Medications to help ease COVID-19 symptoms and chronic conditions include hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, protease inhibitor and albuterol inhalers. According to economists, U.S. pharmaceutical companies could be on the brink of medication shortages due to the demand the world’s leading pharmaceutical manufacturers are facing.
This shortage can cause inconvenience and can prove devastating to people with chronic conditions should individuals continue stockpiling medications — like we’ve seen with other essential items such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer and face masks.
“We are taking additional steps today to limit stockpiling that could result in future shortages and gaps in care. We will continue to anticipate and support the needs of our clients, who collectively provide prescription drug coverage for more than 90 million members.”Alan Lotvin, President of CVS Caremark
A CVS spokesman stated quantity limits for COVID-19 patients are different for each medication, but most people will receive a 10 to 14-day supply on average. Those using medications to treat chronic conditions will not be subjected to the restrictions. CVS Caremark clients also have the option to not participate in these prescription rationing policies.
While scientists continue to test different treatments for the virus, CVS Caremark will monitor and update the list of highly-demanded prescriptions they will allocate to patients. CVS Caremark is also reminding members that they can have a 90-day supply of their prescriptions mailed directly to their homes. Other health insurance companies like Cigna, Anthem and UnitedHealthcare have made moves encouraging their members to take advantage of their extended prescription polices.
CVS Caremark will continue to oversee the global manufacturing environment and ensure no disruption to the supply chain, as a result of COVID-19, will affect their ability to fill prescriptions.
Information provided by Employee Benefit Adviser.