Evernorth provides Wegovy to its weight administration program
BLOOMFIELD, Conn., June 10, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Evernorth, the rapidly growing healthcare services company of Cigna Corporation, is adding Wegovy to its industry’s first comprehensive weight management program™ (Semaglutide), a promising new therapy for overcoming obesity and providing convenient, virtual care by MDLIVE clinicians to eligible patients.
The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved Wegovy, a drug for people with obesity who have had unsuccessful behavioral and lifestyle drugs. The results of Wegovy’s clinical studies indicate that it can be an important pharmacological intervention in the treatment of obesity. However, weight loss drugs present affordability, access, and compliance challenges for patients and health plans. Compliance is a particular burden as 20-30% of patients never refill their prescriptions after the initial fill.
Evernorth used its expertise in this category to expand the Weight Management Care Value (WMCV) program from Express Scripts, its pharmacy performance manager, to:
- Wegovy and other weight loss drugs when clinically appropriate and prescribed by a doctor
- Home care from MDLIVE doctors and other clinicians in Evernorth
- Affordable and predictable access to medication through industry leading value based agreements and pharmacies on the network
- Personalized assistance from health coaches, peer support groups, digital app-based monitoring and tracking tools, including a connected scale
“Obesity is a costly, serious disease and it is a challenge for employers and health insurers to provide effective and inexpensive treatment,” said Amy Bricker, President of Express Scripts. “Our Weight Management Care Value program brings together skills from across the Evernorth portfolio to address many of the challenges of effective obesity management while enabling us to guide our patients through every step of their weight management.”
While promising, Wegovy’s cost combined with the number of Americans with obesity signals that this therapy could become financially burdensome for many health insurers and payers. By enrolling in the program under a value-based reimbursement agreement, Evernorth will help Plans provide affordable and clinically appropriate access to patients. Obesity is associated with a 77% increase in annual drug costs compared to average weight, and common health conditions such as diabetes, chronic back pain, and coronary artery disease are responsible $ 45,514 in direct and indirect costs per patient annually.
To ensure patients are successful, they will also have access to doctors through MDLIVE, the leading 24/7 virtual health care platform that Evernorth acquired earlier this year. If patients do not have an existing relationship with a doctor or prefer a virtual treatment option, they have the option of consulting an MDLIVE doctor who can provide care, coaching, and prescribing appropriate weight loss medications, including Wegovy. to eligible patients when clinically appropriate.
“Our comprehensive program helps ensure adherence to therapy, reduces drop-outs, and provides ongoing lifestyle and behavioral changes that can lead to the prevention of other obesity-related health conditions such as diabetes and heart disease,” said Dr. John Wigneswaran, Chief Medical Officer for Express Scripts. “Evernorth’s comprehensive strategy, coupled with the promising early results from Wegovy, can help patients achieve sustainable weight loss and create plans for huge long-term cost savings.”
Launched earlier this year, WMCV is the newest Express Scripts SafeGuardRx SM program, a value-based platform to reduce costs and improve health outcomes for payers and their members living with chronic conditions such as asthma, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In 2020, plans registered with SafeGuardRxSM saved more than $ 6 billion.
Evernorth is Cigna’s high performing healthcare services portfolio. The Evernorth brand is anchored by Evernorth Health, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cigna Corporation and the parent company of Express Scripts, Accredo, eviCore and MDLIVE. Evernorth pools and coordinates world-class healthcare offerings to provide innovative and flexible solutions for health insurers, employers and government programs. All Evernorth solutions are maintained and provided by or through operating subsidiaries of Evernorth Health or third party partners. To learn more about Evernorth, visit https://www.Evernorth.com/.