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More complaints are emerging that CVS Caremark is being anti-competitive by restricting where customers of its pharmacy benefits management division can buy prescriptions.

This time, according to a report from Bloomberg, the grumbling is from the National Community Pharmacists Association, which says that its members are losing about five percent of their 118 million customers because CVS is requiring people to get their refills from its own brick-and-mortar or online stores.

The story notes that the “trade group joins Walgreen Co., the largest U.S. drugstore chain, in escalating complaints about the way CVS Caremark operates its pharmacy benefits management division. The Caremark unit runs prescription drug programs for companies and government agencies, negotiating prices between drug manufacturers, clients and retail chains ... Ties between the Caremark unit and CVS’s retail stores, brought together in a 2007 merger, are drawing scrutiny from the Federal Trade Commission and at least 24 U.S. states.”

CVS Caremark maintains that it is not violating antitrust law.
KC's View:
It is interesting that the Bloomberg references a story that we noticed a week or two ago - that CVS actually wants to buy as many as 200 independent pharmacies a year in order to maintain a certain level of growth. Which is one way to silence the complaining parties - just send ‘em a check and take over their businesses.