An article published in the Wall Street Journal on Jan. 15 stated that Walmart was expected to leave CVS Caremark pharmacy networks because of a dispute over the cost of filling prescriptions. Different versions of the story emerged. The disagreement, which was resolved on Jan. 18, pointed up the low reimbursement rates that CVS Caremark provides to pharmacies.
CVS Caremark said Walmart wants an increase in payments for prescriptions. CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefits unit of CVS Health which is separate from CVS retail stores, reimburses pharmacies when patients buy medicine. But someone familiar with Walmart’s position says the retail giant didn’t ask CVS to increase the amount it pays when people fill a prescription—rather, Walmart was apparently asking CVS Caremark to maintain rates at current levels. On Twitter, a number of pharmacy organizations and individual pharmacists sided with Walmart’s version of the story.
Financial terms of the new contract between Walmart and CVS Caremark were not disclosed.