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CVS Gets Walmart Back in Its Pharmacy Network

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CVS Health Inc. has averted a health benefits communication crisis.

The Woonsocket, Rhode Island-based company today said its CVS Caremark pharmacy benefit management (PBM) unit has persuaded Walmart to keep its pharmacies in a major CVS Caremark pharmacy network.

The companies said they are not disclosing the financial terms of the new arrangement.

Earlier this week, Walmart shocked brokers, employers, independent benefit plan administrators and consumers around the country by announcing that it would pull its pharmacies out of the CVS Caremark network, over concerns about CVS Caremark efforts to steer patients to certain pharmacies.

(Related: Walmart to Leave CVS Pharmacy Network)

The newly announced arrangement will affect commercial health plans and managed Medicaid plans that use the CVS Caremark pharmacy network.

CVS Caremark and Walmart have a separate contract for the pharmacy networks used in Medicare Part D prescription plans.

They also have separate arrangements for the pharmacies operated by Walmart’s Sam’s Club stores.

Sean Slovenski, the senior vice president in charge of Walmart’s health and wellness division, said in a statement that Walmart believes the new terms are “fair and equitable,” and are in the best interest of the customers.

CVS Caremark has about 68,000 pharmacies in its network.

Walmart operates about 4,800 pharmacies in the United States. It accounts for about 5% of U.S. prescription revenue, according to the Drug Channels Institute.

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