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CVS names new president for its PBM business


WOONSOCKET, R.I. (Reuters)—CVS Caremark Corp. said on Friday that Jon Roberts, chief operating officer of its pharmacy benefits management business, will become president of that critical unit on Sept. 1 as Per Lofberg gets set to retire next year.

Mr. Roberts, who is also an executive vp, will continue to report to Mr. Lofberg, CVS said.

Pharmacy benefit managers, or PBMs, like CVS' Caremark Pharmacy Services business, administer drug benefits for employers and health plans and run mail-order pharmacies.

Mr. Lofberg joined CVS in January 2010 to lead a turnaround at Caremark after the unit hit a low point in late 2009 when it lost $4.8 billion in contracts and its president left.

By late 2011, Caremark had signed $12.3 billion in new contracts for 2012, up from $10.8 billion a year earlier, and retained 98% of its clients, improving upon retention rates of 96% and 90% in the prior two years.

Mr. Lofberg said in December that he planned to stay with the company through 2013. Once Mr. Roberts becomes president of Caremark in September, Mr. Lofberg will focus on areas such as new business development and client relationships and retention, essentially serving as a chairman of the unit. Mr. Lofberg will still report to CEO Larry Merlo.

Mr. Roberts, 56, is a pharmacist by training and has been with CVS for 21 years. He became COO of the Caremark business in 2010 after holding positions in both pharmacy and retail areas.

The news came just days after PBM rival Express Scripts Inc. said it could close its $29 billion acquisition of Medco Health Solutions Inc. as soon as next week. Pharmacy groups and several small pharmacy chains filed a lawsuit on Thursday arguing that the proposed merger should be stopped because it would hurt such businesses.

Before Mr. Lofberg joined CVS, his career in the PBM industry included serving as chairman of Merck-Medco Managed Care L.L.C., which later became Medco Health Solutions.

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