CVS Health has left the National Association of Chain Drug Stores.
“Every day, CVS Pharmacy delivers innovative, community-based solutions to make health care simpler, more affordable and more accessible in communities across the country, and our pharmacy care teams provide trusted advice and counsel to help our patients get and stay healthy,” CVS spokesperson Matt Blanchette told Drug Store News in a statement. “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.”
NACDS issued a statement which said: “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.”
[Read more: CVS Health appoints chief strategy officer]
News of the departure first broke via a report from Politico that noted that the departure from NACDS comes at a time when there is a broader push in the pharma ecosystem to blame rising drug costs on PBMs, which health insurers, employers and the government hire to manage prescription benefits for their health plans.
CVS Caremark controls the largest portion of the market among PBMs, being one of three companies that controls 80% of the PBM market, according to Health Industries Research, the report said.