2:02 PM, Jan 15, 2019 — CVS Health (CVS) said Walmart (WMT) has decided to opt out of its Caremark pharmacy benefit management commercial and Managed Medicaid retail pharmacy networks after they failed to agree on payment terms.
However, the retail pharmacy and healthcare company added that it “remains open to continuing timely good faith negotiations with Walmart in the hopes of reaching an agreement,” according to statement released on Tuesday.
“Walmart’s requested rates would ultimately result in higher costs for our clients and consumers,” said Derica Rice, president of CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefit management business of CVS Health. “Based on our commitment to helping our clients and consumers manage rising pharmacy costs, we simply could not agree to their recent demands for an increase in reimbursement.”
The Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based company has requested that Walmart continue to fill prescriptions as an in-network participating pharmacy through April 30 as it continued to be “hopeful that Walmart will agree to work amicably with us.”
The transition, which “must place patient care as the highest priority,” does not impact Walmart’s participation in the CVS Caremark Medicare Part D pharmacy network. Similarly, Walmart’s warehouse chain, Sam’s Club, will remain in the CVS Caremark pharmacy networks.
If the partnership unwinds, CVS said it doesn’t foresee a material impact on its 2019 financial results because less than 5% of affected CVS Caremark members use Walmart exclusively to fill their prescriptions. Moreover, the average distance that a member would need to travel to reach an in-network pharmacy, without Walmart in the network, remains virtually unchanged, according to CVS.
Members affected by this network change will be notified as CVS said it would help them identify nearby in-network pharmacies where they can fill their prescriptions.
Companies: Walmart Inc.
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