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Drug Pricing War Leads CVS And Walmart To Part Ways | The Daily Caller

Walmart and CVS Health’s pharmacy benefit management (PBM) division announced they’re parting ways Tuesday, and it’s a split that could disproportionately impact rural patients, health care entrepreneur Dave Chase told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The split was brought on by a pricing dispute and means that many people who have CVS Health drug plans will no longer be able to pick up their prescriptions at Walmart locations.

“Walmart is in a lot of rural areas where there aren’t a lot of choices … I think it’s definitely troublesome for patients,” Chase, a health care author and co-founder of Health Rosetta, told TheDCNF in a telephone interview Tuesday.

But Chase also emphasized Walmart’s “unassailable” reputation for making drugs affordable, including its $4 generic prescription drug program.

PBMs are often blamed for high drug prices. New Senate Finance Committee Chair Chuck Grassley revealed his three-part initial plan to cut drug prices Wednesday. His plan did not include rethinking legislation surrounding PBMs, but he has discussed the need for oversight of them.

“I’ll also continue diligently pursuing oversight of both the public and private sectors of health care, including addressing health care consolidation and anticompetitive concerns, from supply chain middlemen to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to hospitals and health insurers,” the Iowa Republican said in a Jan. 9 statement.

Chase warned against using PBMs as a scapegoat for high drug prices.

“The gains are endless in the PBM arena. There are some good ones,” he told TheDCNF. “The nonprofit I run, we have folks we advise on how to do benefits right, and there are some great PBMs that are transparent and don’t have lots of hidden fees and clawbacks.”

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Drug Pricing War Leads CVS And Walmart To Part Ways | The Daily Caller.

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