WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Consumers covered by CVS Health Corp. drug plans will no longer be able to fill their prescriptions at Walmart Inc. pharmacies.
- The two companies have split over a dispute regarding drug reimbursement prices.
- Walmart claims that it is resisting CVS’s efforts to steer consumers to fill their prescriptions at particular pharmacies. CVS, on the other hand, has stated that the prices being demanded by Walmart when it came to rebates, would have resulted in higher drug prices for consumers.
The Wall Street Journal has reported a split between Walmart Inc. pharmacies and CVS Health Corp. News of the separation was announced by CVS after the two giant companies had a dispute over the pricing of prescriptions and reimbursement rates. Walmart Inc. pharmacies will no longer be on the list of where consumers with CVS Health Corp. drug plans can have their prescriptions filled.
CVS Caremark is CVS’s pharmacy-benefits management division, one that administrates drug plans covering over 93 million people in the U.S. as well as beneficiaries of Medicare and Medicaid.
Aside from being the world’s largest retailer, Walmart is also one of the companies that operate a majority of pharmacies in the U.S. For the past few years, the company has also been looking to expand its health-related business.
Walmart recently hired a former employee of Humana Inc. who worked as a former senior executive insurer. This move has garnered speculations that the two companies will forge closer ties. Together, they are already working on Medicare patient prescription plans.
In an emailed statement from a Walmart spokeswoman, the company said that it was opposing efforts by CVS to try and direct consumers to certain pharmacies to avail of their prescriptions. “Walmart is standing up to CVS’s behaviors that are putting pressure on pharmacies and disrupting patient care.”
CVS has also faced some criticism from their customers, various lawmakers, and regulators for not being adequately transparent regarding costs, prices, and reimbursements they negotiate with various drugmakers. The health company has argued that Walmart was seeking rates that would have led to ultimately higher medicine costs that would have to be shouldered by consumers.
According to a statement from CVS, Medicare beneficiaries of CVS’s Part D drug plans won’t be affected by the split. Neither will Walmart’s Sam’s Club stores.