If you're worried about the impact of the seemingly inevitable CVS/Aetna merger, consider the following:
On February 8, 2018, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge opened an investigation into the CVS Caremark reimbursement rates to Arkansas pharmacies, much to the delight of her state's community pharmacies -- and the nation. Ms. Rutledge took a bold and remarkable stand against PBM abuse. Since that day:
Attorney General Rutledge’s office was on the forefront of these issues early on, at a critical time when the Arkansas Pharmacists Association (APA) found CVS to be using Arkansas tax dollars to reimburse themselves an average $60 more per prescription than other pharmacies. At the same time, APA showed evidence of CVS engaging in exorbitant “spread pricing” and harboring tax dollars in the process. Ms. Rutledge’s office paved the way for other states to take action, including opening investigations into their own taxpayer-funded prescription benefits programs - firmly positioning Arkansas as the “bellwether state” on the issue of PBM reform.
As Arkansas’ pharmacists await the results of Ms. Rutledge’s investigation, we take heart in the tremendous progress that has been made in the mere 8 months since the first state investigation of PBM spread pricing was launched and keep a hopeful, optimistic eye on the future.