Walgreens drug stores and CVS Caremark have come to an agreement after a recent spat over Walgreen’s participation in CVS prescription drug plans.
Walgreen (Stock Quote: WAG) previously criticized CVS Caremark (Stock Quote: CVS) because the company required patients with chronic conditions to use CVS pharmacies or Caremark mail service instead of Walgreens to fill prescriptions if CVS was the patients’ pharmacy benefits manager.
Walgreen said the requirement limited the number of locations where patients could fill their prescriptions and consult trusted pharmacists face to face.
Earlier this month, Walgreen said it was no longer in the company’s best interest to grow its business with the CVS network and it planned to stop participating in new and renewed plans with the company, a move that could have delayed patients’ access to medication. About 7,000 Walgreens stores participated in CVS Caremark’s pharmacy network.
CVS retorted, saying that Walgreen was simply trying to raise the reimbursement rates it receives from CVS for filling prescriptions.
After announcing an amicable agreement between the two companies, CVS Caremark’s president of the pharmacy benefit management business, Per Lofberg, said it has reached an agreement to “provide convenient access to affordable high-quality pharmacy health care.” Financial information and other specifics were not disclosed.
Separately, a CVS pharmacy in New York City is being investigated after it reportedly threw out old prescriptions from 2002, along with patients’ personal information, just outside the pharmacy’s back door early this week, and the bottles ended up strewn along the sidewalk, the New York Daily Newsreports. Among the drugs left on the sidewalk were controlled substances including codeine and the generic version of Valium.