CVS, Walmart reach network agreement after contract impasse

Walmart will remain part of CVS Health's pharmacy benefit management network, ending a contract impasse between the two retail pharmacy giants.

CVS announced Jan. 15 that Walmart opted to leave the drugstore networks run by CVS Health's pharmacy benefit management unit, CVS Caremark, because of a pricing dispute. The split would have affected employees with CVS-administered drug benefits and Medicaid beneficiaries with CVS drug coverage. Their health plans would have stopped paying for prescriptions filled at Walmart locations.

But on Jan. 18 the two retail pharmacy giants said they had reached a multiyear agreement. The financial terms of the new contract were not disclosed.

"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," said Sean Slovenski, senior vice president of Walmart Health and Wellness.

The dispute between the two businesses centered on pricing. Walmart was demanding higher reimbursements for its pharmacies, a rate that "would ultimately result in higher costs for our clients and consumers," CVS Caremark President Derica Rice said.

Walmart, on the other hand, said it was resisting efforts by CVS to steer consumers to certain pharmacies to have their prescriptions filled.

Read more about the dispute here.


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