PBM Pharmacists’ Role in Patient Care at CVS Health

This article was originally posted internally on the CVS Health colleague intranet.

Did you know CVS Caremark employs nearly 2,000 pharmacists and many more pharmacy technicians in our mail service and specialty pharmacy businesses?

These colleagues have unique opportunities to work in areas different from a traditional pharmacy setting, including operations management, training, prior authorization, coverage determination and appeals, operations technology and professional practice.

Mail service pharmacist Tim Burns, R.Ph., Pharm. D, and Specialty pharmacist Vini T. Mathew, Pharm. D., share how their roles differ from the retail setting.

Tim Burns, Wilkes Barre Mail Pharmacy, Pennsylvania
Tim Burns, Wilkes Barre Mail Pharmacy, Pennsylvania

Prescription verification and quality control are important elements of my job. I use dual screens to ensure that prescription information from the physician has been entered correctly on the patient’s account. I examine the patient’s medications and look for interactions or duplicate therapies. If we see an interaction or duplicate therapy, we contact the prescriber to alert them of potential issues, and take calls from the office to resolve issues.

I also counsel patients on the importance of medication adherence, and recently become involved in part of our medication therapy management program (MTM). The program identifies patients who have multiple chronic disease states and are on eight or more medications, who could benefit from the expertise of a pharmacist’s comprehensive, targeted medication review. We spend 20-40 minutes on the phone with each patient, discussing how their prescriptions and over-the-counter medications may affect each other, offering ways to manage their conditions, advising on adherence and safety, and even reviewing prescription costs. I’m able to use the skills I acquired in pharmacy school to talk with patients, listen to them, provide advice, and keep them safe and adherent to their medications.

Vini Mathew, Troy Specialty Pharmacy, Michigan Vini Mathew, Troy Specialty Pharmacy, Michigan 

As a Specialty pharmacist, my role is to dispense and provide therapy management for patients who take high-cost specialty medications, requiring special handling or storage, and have a limited or restricted distribution. We provide patient-focused services such as therapy/disease state counseling, ongoing assessment for response and adverse effects, also interventions that can improve clinical outcomes.

As part of the geo-preferencing strategy to dispense from pharmacies closest to patients, other CVS Specialty pharmacies and Centers of Excellences send their specialty orders to us. We are able to verify the front-end of an order, and have back-end capabilities to ship out the orders.

I’ve been with CVS Health almost six years, and I’m most proud of the optimum care and excellent service our team provides to the CVS Specialty patient and to the prescriber’s office.

The pharmacy  service representatives, pharmacy technicians and operations assistants at our Troy location are dedicated and caring colleagues, and together, we help patients on their path to better health.

We recently updated our Pharmacist hiring section on our career site. Our pharmacists continue to build that trust by providing our patients with the best advice and caring guidance to every patient, every day.

Search for and apply for your new career!

Reflections From Former CVS Health Pharmacy Resident Gregory Bresin

Last week we started a new series highlighting our Pharmacy Residents experiences and updating where they are now and any future plans they may have in their careers.

Today we are happy to share reflection from Gregory Bresin.  Greg is a Managed Care Resident out of Pittsburgh, PA.

Pharmacy Residents
From left to right: Colleagues Michelle Nguyen, Corey Wilson, Vimal Thottapurathu, and Greg working hard at Sanofi in Bridgewater, NJ

Looking back on this year I believe the most rewarding experience has been getting to work with so many great colleagues and mentors. Every person that I was able to work with was very willing to help develop my skills to grow into a stronger professional. In addition to my formal preceptors and mentors, being able to work with such an intelligent and hard working group of co-residents made the experience just that much more beneficial.

I am very excited to be staying with the CVS Health starting a role as a Clinical Advisor supporting our health plan line of business. I celebrated my new role with a short trip to Florida and I am excited to be settling well into my new role.

If you are considering a career as a Pharmacist, I encourage you to see what CVS Health has to offer. CVS is truly a place where you can make a difference and grow your career in whichever direction you desire.

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We want you to grow. It’s why we offer fellowship and residency programs that give you the support and training you need to thrive professionally and personally. Learn more about CVS Health Pharmacist Fellowships & Residencies

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Work with purpose at CVS Health: https://jobs.cvshealth.com #TeamCVS 

Upcoming Virtual Events for Pharmacist Residency and Internship Programs!

We’ll you’ll hope join us at one of our upcoming virtual events for Pharmacist Students. Whether you’re looking for a residency or an internship we’re looking forward to the opportunity to connect with you. Our virtual events is your chance to chat with us from wherever you are located! Share your experience, ask questions and get to know our team — all online, from any device.

Our online events make it easy and fun for you to participate. After signing in from your home, office, smartphone or tablet, you’ll participate in 1-on-1 chats with our representatives. The chats are text-based and timed, allowing you to quickly meet us, exchange contact information, and walk away with your questions answered.

Register today to ensure your spot at our Community Pharmacy Internship Virtual Career Fair

Thursday, October 12, 2017

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM ET

Register Here https://cvs.co/RphIntern

Register today to ensure your spot at Virtual Residency Showcase

Thursday, November 16, 2017

5:00 PM – 8:00 PM ET

Register Here https://cvs.co/RphRes

CVS Health Summer Spanish Immersion Internship

CVS Health is proud to have hosted the inaugural 10-week Summer Spanish Immersion Internship program this summer.

The 20 selected Pharmacy Interns have basic to moderate Spanish fluency and are interested in relocating post-graduation to a Dominant Spanish market to help serve Hispanic patients.

The pharmacy interns that participated are enrolled in a college of pharmacy and worked across seven states. They had the opportunity to be immersed in CVS stores that have a Hispanic dominant patient population.  These bilingual students served our Hispanic population in unique ways.

The interns spent time diving deep into cultural competencies such as disease state prevalence in Hispanics, familiarity with OTC products used within the Hispanic population, and understanding cultural barriers to health care.  Our hope is to help increase Spanish fluency and create a larger workforce of Spanish speaking pharmacists to best serve the growing Hispanic population within the United States.

Spanish Immersion Intern Event
#TeamCVS attending UNIDAD of Miami Beach

One of our interns, Kevin Malloy, a 2nd-year pharmacy student from Virginia Commonwealth University recently attended a community health fair.  Kevin wrote of his experience:

“Last Friday I was fortunate enough to attend a community health fair at UNIDAD of Miami Beach. At the health fair, I was accompanying Navarro District Supervisor Chanel Valcarcel and Pharmacy Manager at #10709, Juan Rivera. We were joined by other representatives from various health care fields including dental, medical insurance, and social work professionals.

The population at the event was made up of female senior citizens, a majority of whom were Hispanic. I had the best time meeting and speaking will all of the people there. The majority of the women were there with questions; some just wanted to speak with Dr. Rivera, who knew many of them from his pharmacy up the street. Most of my time was spent talking to the community members while Dr. Rivera took their blood pressure. Some of the women had questions about their medications & immunizations, but they also shared some of their other health concerns such as insurance and finding new physicians.

The event was a great experience for an aspiring community pharmacist like myself. It was relevant to speak to people and focus on their individual questions and problems that they brought regarding their medication and health history. As an example, I had the opportunity to speak with one community member about her concerns with beginning the bisphosphonate therapy she has recently been prescribed.

The patient was very well-educated and health literate, and it was a unique experience for me to conduct a conversation with her that addressed her concerns to starting therapy. I learned a lot, got great first-hand experience working with senior citizens in a community setting, and I had a fun time.

Thank you to CVS Health, Navarro, Juan, and Chanel for allowing me to participate.”

We are excited for our interns’ experiences, like Kevin’s, and the impact they are making on a community. Sign up below for more information about how you can participate in our expanded program in 2018!

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE