CVS Health Corp. (CVS) is the biggest U.S. pharmacy chain with a market capitalization of $3.8 trillion.
It’s one of the biggest beneficiaries of a federal law that allows companies to share data about health care costs with government.
But the law has raised concerns that companies will use the data to target patients based on health status or their health conditions, including in states that don’t require that insurers cover coverage.CVS is also in the midst of a massive expansion of the program, which it hopes will help the company meet new health care requirements.
But many health care experts are worried that the law will give companies too much power over the data and could give them too much control over the price of products.
To help customers, CVS said Thursday that it will begin sharing its prices of a range of prescription drugs, including some brand names, through a system that includes its own software.
Cases for the new drug data will be sent to the Federal Trade Commission, which has the authority to penalize companies that sell health care information to companies without a valid consumer protection exemption, said Mark Siegel, Caren Siegel’s director of regulatory policy.
CVS will also be required to publish price estimates for the drugs, which will be based on a proprietary model and may include other industry data, Siegel said.
In some states, the FDA has already begun to impose restrictions on CVS’s ability to share the drug data with government officials, said Elizabeth R. Leverette, a spokeswoman for the FDA’s division of health and safety.
The FDA has been reviewing the data for at least a year and has issued a warning letter to CVS and other drugmakers, urging them to cease sharing the data, said Leveretta.
Cancer medications have long been a popular source of drug information.
Last year, for example, the company reported a record-breaking $1.8 billion in annual revenue for cancer medicines.
But the companies behind some of the largest cancer treatments — CVS, Gilead Sciences Inc. and Abbott Laboratories Inc. — have been lobbying Congress to allow them to sell the data without a consumer protection exception.
While some cancer drugs are priced differently in some states and in some parts of the country, they are generally the same prices at all CVS pharmacies, according to company data.
In other states, prices for some drugs are higher and some lower.
Caren Sieglesen, spokeswoman for FDA division of medical and health servicesIn the first half of 2018, CRS reported a net profit of $5.7 billion.
C&G reported a loss of $6.2 billion, and Abbott reported a $3 billion loss.
In the first nine months of 2019, C> reported a profit of only $1 billion.
In the years since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, drugmakers have lobbied to expand access to their own data, which could be used to target health care customers based on their health.
The law required that health insurers offer plans that covered preventive care services and drugs, but some companies argue that they shouldn’t have to pay for that information either.
In June, for instance, G&.
T Corp. announced plans to buy CVS Caremark, a provider of health insurance products for people with pre-existing conditions, and then to sell that information to its own competitors.
In March, Gail K. Levine, chief executive of Johnson & Johnson, told a Senate panel that her company planned to share its own pricing of a broad range of drugs with insurers.
Last year, Cerenis Health Care Partners, the largest drugstore chain, said it planned to sell its data to a pharmacy benefit manager in Georgia.
A spokeswoman for Cerenans declined to comment on the latest talks between CVSHealth and insurers.