Walmart announced that it will continue to use the caremark pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) commercial and the managed medicaid retail pharmacy network by a new agreement. This announcement came just after Walmart made the headlines by testing the new power of CVS. This was due to the recent acquisition of Aetna and the statement that the retail giant would no longer approve of prescription drug coverage from them.
This was a crucial dispute as it involved two major giant companies and that too at a time when drug prices are growing and the role of PBM has been questioned by all, employers, congress, white house and the consumers too. PBMs normally work as the middlemen between the drug companies and employers with respect to purchasing prescription medicines for consumers.
Though no details and financial terms were discussed, CVS and Walmart said “companies have reached a multi-year agreement on terms under which Walmart will continue participating in the CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management (PBM) commercial and Managed Medicaid retail pharmacy networks.”
“We are very pleased to have reached a mutually agreeable solution with Walmart,” Derica Rice, the president of CVS Caremark said. “As a PBM, our top priority is to help our clients and consumers lower their pharmacy costs. This new agreement accomplishes our top priority and enables Walmart to continue participating in CVS Caremark’s commercial and Managed Medicaid pharmacy networks and provides enhanced network stability for our clients and their members.”
Renewal of the Landing a contract renewal with Walmart is critical for CVS and its PBM business. CVS has been making more prescription benefit changes as health plans, employers and policymakers call for increased drug pricing transparency, calling into question the PBM’s role as a middleman between drug companies and consumers when it comes to purchasing prescription medicines.
Sean Slovenski, senior vice president for Walmart Health and Wellness said “We believe in putting our customers first by providing value and keeping our everyday low-price promise. We are pleased to have reached fair and equitable terms with CVS Caremark that are in the best interest of our customers, and we are glad our CVS Caremark customers will be able to continue saving money and living better.”
Instances of PBMs, like UnitedHealth Group’s OptumRx and Express Scripts not providing detailed information with respect to rebates have been found in last few years too.