Which pharmacies sell prescription drugs?
CVS pharmacies in several states are calling out the pharmacy benefit managers, a group of companies that sell prescription medicines directly to patients.
The calls come amid a push to increase competition in the prescription drug market by allowing more pharmacies to sell the same medications for cheaper.
But the push comes at a time when the industry faces a new push by health insurers to cut prices to keep people covered.
A CVS spokesperson said the company does not comment on speculation about our competitors, but pointed to its partnership with Humana.
CVS announced a partnership with Cigna and its pharmacy benefit manager in July, which allowed it to offer its pharmacies more generics and lower prices on some of the same drugs.
The partnership with Medicare Advantage also helped the company increase its profit by $3.5 billion in fiscal year 2017.
Cignas pharmacies, in turn, sell directly to the public via CVS Health’s website, so there’s no middleman to compete with.
A spokesperson for CVS said the pharmacy benefits manager partnership is part of the company’s effort to offer affordable products at lower prices.
The pharmacy benefits management program helps CVS pharmacy benefit customers negotiate with their insurers to keep them covered, while reducing the costs associated with medical expenses.
The company’s partnership with the pharmacy program is in addition to its own CVS-branded health plans.
Cvs and Humana are also partnering to expand its own pharmacy benefit, which CVS will soon launch.
The move comes as the U.S. is facing a $7.5 trillion deficit and a $3 trillion national debt.
The president is proposing tax hikes to pay for infrastructure spending and other investments that would boost the economy.
He has promised to spend $1 trillion to address the shortfall by 2025.
Cuts in Medicaid and other programs will also likely affect the pharmacy business, according to the spokesperson.