Newsroom | 15 June 2012

Cigna's Growth Hormone Initiative Wins CQIA Innovation Award


Cigna Corporation
Janet Brown, 860-226-4811

  • Cigna's Growth Hormone Initiative saves clients and customers $13.1 million in total medical costs
  • Program wins CQIA Innovation Award for quality improvement and business success

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., June 15, 2012 - Cigna received a 2012 (silver) Connecticut Quality Improvement Award (CQIA) Innovation Prize during the 25th Anniversary Conference on Tuesday, June 5 at Saint Clements Castle in Portland, Connecticut.

John Poniatowski receives the CQIA prize on behalf of Cigna for the Growth Hormone Initiative. (Photo: Cigna)

"As a global health service company, Cigna is focused on making medications affordable, improving total health outcomes, and providing superior service to our customers," said John Poniatowski, Clinical Program Director for Cigna Pharmacy Management. "Through our growth hormone initiative we were able to help clients and customers receive quality care and save money. We are proud to be recognized for this achievement."

Driven by frequent cost increases, growth hormone drugs have an estimated annual growth rate of 22%. Growth hormone can cost thousands of dollars per prescription.

Children and adolescents born with growth hormone deficiency do not produce normal levels of growth hormone, resulting in growth failure and short stature. Growth hormone replacement therapy can help these individuals' growth and development.

Cigna identified approaches that maintained beneficial clinical outcomes and service experience for customers, clients, and doctors while reducing their costs. Growth hormone (generically known as somatropin) is a "specialty drug" - complex and expensive. A committee comprised of doctors and pharmacists, both internal and external to Cigna, reviewed data and clinical guidelines and determined that the seven brands of growth hormone are clinically equal. By identifying two of the seven growth hormones as "preferred" on Cigna's drug list, Cigna has been able to lower costs for clients and customers, saving $13.1 million in total medical costs.

For the past 25 years, the CQIA has been the State's annual quality award, recognizing Connecticut companies that excel in managing quality improvement for business success and growth.

The CQIA is America's first state level award using the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality and Innovation Award for Performance Excellence named for a former Connecticut CEO who led the U.S. Commerce Department during President Ronald Reagan's administration.

About Cigna

Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) is a global health service company dedicated to helping people improve their health, well-being and sense of security. All products and services are provided exclusively through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America and Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. Such products and services include an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy and vision care benefits, and other related products including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and has approximately 70 million customer relationships throughout the world. To learn more about Cigna®, including links to follow us on Facebook or Twitter, visit