CVS Carmark, Walgreen Settle Dispute

10,000 GIC Enrollees Relieved

JUNE 22, 2010: Officials with CVS Caremark and Walgreen have announced a compromise that will avert a near crisis in which Walgreen would have no longer filled prescriptions covered by CVS Caremark's pharmacy benefits management  (PBM) service. The corporate battle between the country's two largest pharmacies heated up in early June over reimbursement rates paid by CVS.

The new multi-year agreement between the companies, the terms of which have not been disclosed, comes just in time to avoid a disruption in coverage for some 10,000 enrollees under the state's Group Insurance Commission (GIC). As members are aware, CVS Caremark will takeover as the state's PBM on July 1, replacing Express Scripts.

Members should now see no interruption in service or benefits resulting from the transfer between vendors. Members, who are insured under the state GIC and currently utilize Express Scripts can contact CVS Caremark at 1-877-876-7214 if you have questions or concerns. The transfer to CVS Caremark only impacts those retirees insured under the state's GIC and enrolled in one of the plans offered through UniCare.

"We are very pleased that the disagreement between CVS and Walgreen worked itself out before our members were impacted. The timing leading up to the GIC's transfer could not have been worse," said Association President Ralph White. "With this spat behind us, we are now expecting a smooth transfer. While I'm sure there will be some hiccups along the way, overall I think this is a positive step for our members."