Walmart, CVS Health hammer out new PBM pharmacy network deal

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Walmart will continue to participate in CVS Health’s prescription drug network for customers with private health insurance and Medicaid coverage

Shares of CVS rose nearly 3 percent before the opening bell Friday. The stock had been under pressure since Tuesday, when it said it could not come to an agreement with Walmart on pricing.

CVS executive Derica Rice said in a statement Friday that the companies had reached a “mutually agreeable solution” that would allow customers with pharmacy benefits managed by CVS Health’s Caremark business to still have their prescriptions filled at Walmart locations. CVS and Walmart didn’t disclose the terms of their new deal.

They also didn’t say what changed since Tuesday, when CVS said Walmart’s requested rates would lead to higher costs for its customers. Walmart, in turn, said it was committed to providing value to its customers, “but we don’t want to give that value to CVS.” The retail giant also said then that it was still talking with CVS and trying to find a solution.

CVS Health processes more than a billion prescriptions every year as one of the nation’s largest pharmacy benefit managers. Including Walmart locations, CVS said its national pharmacy network will have nearly 68,000 participating pharmacies.

The dispute between the companies had not affected Medicare prescription drug coverage or the deal Walmart’s Sam’s Club has to participate in the CVS pharmacy network.

CVS shares were up $1.76 to $65.13 in pre-market trading, while Walmart’s stock price remained unchanged from yesterday’s close of $96.74.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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