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CVS Price Gouging Lawsuit Dropped

A lawsuit that alleged CVS conspired with PBMs to increase costs was dropped on the grounds of incorrect information presented in the case.
Published Online: Aug 29,2017
Laurie Toich, Assistant Editor
In early August, a class-action lawsuit was filed against CVS Health alleging that the company made secret deals with pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) to increase out-of-pocket costs for patients.

The plaintiff cited several times in which she allegedly paid more for her prescriptions when using insurance than she would have if she paid cash. Plaintiff Megan Shultz said that she paid $165.68 with insurance for a drug, but only would have paid $92 in cash.

Shultz claimed that CVS did not tell her that she would save money by not using her insurance. The court alleged that CVS did not inform her of the savings due to a scheme with PBMs.

CVS previously told The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits that the allegations were built on a false premise.

“Co-pays for prescription medications are determined by a patient’s prescription coverage plan, not by the pharmacy. Pharmacies collect the co-pays that are set by the coverage plans," CVS said in the statement.
 
On Friday, CVS said in a statement to FiercePharma that the lawsuit has been dismissed due to factual misstatements. When corrected, the data showed that the plaintiff had not actually been overcharged for her prescription drugs, CVS reported.

However, the law firm handling the case, Hagens Berman, told FiercePharma that while the suit has been dismissed, they are not dropping the allegations completely. The firm plans to refile the suit promptly.

It is unclear if the future lawsuit will also be dismissed due to potentially incorrect claims.

Additionally, the law firm filed a similar case against Walgreens, alleging the pharmacy conspired with PBMs to increase the cost of generic drugs for patients using their insurance. In a previous statement to The American Journal of Pharmacy Benefits, Walgreens also denied the allegations.

FircePharma reports that the case against Walgreens is still being pursued.

"Our case against Walgreens was not dismissed and will remain on file until we achieve a just outcome for consumers,” managing partner Steve Berman told FiercePharma.