Critics Slam CVS Caremark

In an Employee Benefit News, February 2010 issue, front page article, “Report Calls PBM Merger Into Question”, critics acuse CVS Caremark of driving up costs for health plans and lowering quality for patients, reducing transparency and hampering oversight for health plans, and compromising the privacy of health plan participants.

“CVS Caremark is currently the only major PBM that is owned by a retail pharmacy chain, and this combined business model has an inherent conflict of interest. As a retailer, CVS Pharmacy has an incentive to drive customers into its stores, fill as many prescriptions as possible, particularly those with high markup, and has little interest in saving health plans money.”

“Of particular interest to health plans and sponsors is the report’s contention that CVS Caremark promotes the use of more expensive brand name drugs over cheaper generics. ”

The article also advises plan sponsors on how to negotiate with their PBM, listing four major points to consider.

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