- Walmart and CVS Health and just ended a fight over prescription drugs.
- The dispute would have prevented some CVS Caremark customers from picking up their prescriptions at Walmart pharmacies.
- CVS said Walmart wanted to raise the cost of filling prescriptions by too much. Walmart said CVS was using its negotiating leverage to unfairly steer patients away from a key rival.
- The companies didn’t reveal the terms of their new agreement.
The companies said Friday that they had reached a multi-year agreement to let customers of CVS Caremark continue to pick up their prescriptions at Walmart pharmacies. On Monday, CVS had said that some Caremark customers would soon be prevented from picking up their drugs at Walmarts, because of a pricing dispute.
Walmart and CVS didn’t reveal the terms of their new agreement in a joint statement. On Monday, CVS said that Walmart, the biggest retailer in the world, wanted to raise the cost of filling prescriptions by too much.
The dispute could have affected about $US4 billion worth of prescriptions, according to an estimate from Eric Coldwell, an analyst at Baird.
Steven Halper, an analyst at Cantor Fitzgerald, said resolving the dispute would benefit CVS and its customers, even if CVS had to pay Walmart higher prices than it wanted. CVS Caremark contracts with employers and insurers to manage the prescription-drug benefits for their workers and clients.
“We believe including Walmart in its pharmacy network eliminates potential member disruption in the near term, he wrote. “Walmart has a significant presence in more rural settings which could have been an issue for some employer and health plan contracts in the future.”
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