Walmart To Leave CVS Caremark PBM Medicaid Retail Pharma Networks

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( - CVS Health Corp. ( CVS ) said Tuesday that retail giant Walmart Inc. (WMT) has opted to leave the CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management or PBM commercial and Managed Medicaid retail pharmacy networks.

CVS Caremark, the pharmacy benefit management business of CVS Health, noted that such a transition must place patient care as the highest priority and, as such, it has requested that Walmart continue to fill prescriptions as an in network participating pharmacy through April 30, 2019.

However, this transition does not impact Walmart's participation in the CVS Caremark Medicare Part D pharmacy network. In addition, Walmart's Sam's Club division remains in the CVS Caremark pharmacy networks.

CVS Health noted that Walmart's termination from the CVS Caremark commercial and Managed Medicaid retail pharmacy networks is not expected to have a material impact on the financial results of the company in 2019.

"At a time when everyone is working hard to find ways to reduce health care costs, Walmart's requested rates would ultimately result in higher costs for our clients and consumers. While we have enjoyed a long relationship with Walmart as a low cost provider in our broad national networks, 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," said Derica Rice, President of CVS Caremark.

CVS Health said its focus now is an orderly transition for any impacted plan members and ensuring it places patient care as its highest priority.

According to CVS Health, currently, less than 5 percent of affected CVS Caremark members use Walmart exclusively to fill their prescriptions. The company added that the retail pharmacy network is well-positioned, even without Walmart, to provide members with access to a local pharmacy.

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