CVS Caremark taps Lofberg to head PBM business

WOONSOCKET, R.I. —CVS Caremark last month named a new president for its PBM business. The company’s selection of Per Lofberg further illustrates its commitment to personalized medicine.

Prior to taking over for Howard McLure, who retired on Nov. 27, 2009, as president of Caremark, Lofberg served as president and CEO of Generation Health, a genetic benefit management company that now has increased financial and strategic ties to CVS Caremark.

There are several reasons why the appointment of Lofberg makes sense for CVS Caremark. First, he has more than 30 years of experience in health care and the PBM industry, including the role of chairman for Merck-Medco Managed Care, which later became Medco Health Solutions. Second, CVS Caremark has increased its commitment to expand pharmacogenomic clinical and testing services for its PBM clients.

The move also is somewhat reminiscent of the path that Chip Phillips took within CVS Caremark. As CVS Caremark looked to sell the retail-based clinic model to payers and advance the integration of the PBM, mail order, specialty pharmacy and retail clinics, Phillips moved from the PBM side of the business in 2008 to lead MinuteClinic. In July 2009, it was announced that Phillips had accepted a new role as president of TheraCom, a CVS Caremark company that helps biotech and pharmaceutical companies commercialize their specialty products.

Now this cross-pollination of sorts is surfacing within the field of personalized medicine with the appointment of Lofberg, as CVS Caremark clearly is voicing its commitment to making genomic benefit management an integral part of its PBM offering.

According to Generation Health, genomic testing represents a $3 billion market that is growing 45% annually.