As PBMs Are Under Microscope, New Suit Accuses CVS of Generics-Blocking Scheme

At a time when the federal government is clamping down on pharmacy benefit managers and seeking ways to lower prescription drug prices, a recently unsealed whistleblower complaint details how one of the three largest PBMs allegedly drove up costs for Medicare Part D beneficiaries and the federal government. In a lawsuit that CVS Health Corp. intends to fight, the False Claims Act complaint accuses the parent company of colluding with its “supposedly firewalled” entities — the SilverScript Part D subsidiary, PBM CVS Caremark and CVS pharmacies — of striking secret rebate agreements with the drug makers that required SilverScript to block substitution on its formularies of generic drugs in favor of costlier brand-name alternatives.

The U.S. Dept. of Justice chose not to intervene in the second amended complaint, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in March and recently obtained by Stat. The suit was filed by relator Alexandra Miller, who worked for CVS Health for 19 years. According to Miller’s LinkedIn profile, she most recently served as senior director of Medicare Part D operations and is now senior director of member and provider experiences for Oscar Health.

© 2022 MMIT
Lauren Flynn Kelly

Lauren Flynn Kelly Managing Editor, Radar on Medicare Advantage

Lauren has been covering health business issues, including drug benefits and specialty pharmacy, for more than a decade. She served as editor of Drug Benefit News (the predecessor to Radar on Drug Benefits) from 2004 to 2005 and again from 2011 to 2016, and now manages Radar on Medicare Advantage. Lauren graduated from Vassar College with a B.A. in English.

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