CVS Health has left the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
CVS Health has pulled out of the National Association for Chain Drug Stores.
“While we have made the decision to step away from the association, we are fully committed to advancing and supporting the value of pharmacy and the critical role that pharmacists play as healthcare providers in their communities," CVS spokesperson Matt Blanchette told CSA sister publication Drug Store News.
The move comes amid increasing tension between retailers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which health insurers, employers and the government hire to manage prescription benefits for their health plans. Politico, which first reported the news, noted there is a broader push in the pharma ecosystem to blame rising drug costs on the PBMs. CVS owns the nation’s biggest pharmacy benefits manager.
The decision by CVS leaves the NACDS without one of the country’s largest drug store chains. NACDS issued the following statement:
“For the 89 years since the association was established, NACDS has remained singularly focused and extremely effective on the pharmacy, health and wellness issues of critical importance to patients and the pharmacies that serve them. That has never changed.
“These issues include putting patients first, advancing pharmacies and pharmacy teams as the face of neighborhood health care, and establishing fairness for pharmacies and for patients on increasingly consequential payer and PBM issues. Thanks to the engagement and unity of the diverse NACDS chain and supplier membership, and to the leadership of the NACDS board of directors, NACDS remains duly focused and stands in the strongest financial position in our 89-year history. NACDS has always acted as the collective and collaborative will of our members and we always will.”
Based in Woonsocket, R.I., CVS’ retail pharmacy subsidiary has nearly 10,000 locations nationwide.