OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A group of state lawmakers called out CVS Caremark on Monday for spreading “misinformation” to Oklahomans about 90-day prescriptions.
“Let me be as direct as I know how to be,” said House Majority Floor Leader Jon Echols, R- Oklahoma City. “The state of Oklahoma did not get rid of the ability to fill 90-day prescriptions. Anyone that says that is not misinformed, they don’t misunderstand. They are intentionally lying to you and we’re not going to stand for it.”
In March, some customers received a letter from the pharmacy benefit manager about its plans to discontinue 90-day supplies of medications. This primarily affects customers with employers based outside of Oklahoma.
“We will not sit idly by while they do this and allow it without a response,” said House Representative Marcus McEntire, R-Duncan.
CVS Caremark’s reasoning points to a 2019 law, the Patient’s Right to Pharmacy Choice Act, which prevents PBM’s from directing patients to use its affiliated pharmacies instead of other drugstores.
“The OID (Oklahoma Insurance Department) recently determined that legislation enacted in 2019 is applicable to prescription benefits for certain multistate or national employers headquartered outside the state of Oklahoma. We have discussed with the OID our concerns about the impact changing uniform benefit design could have on consumers who rely on 90-day prescriptions,” said CVS Health.
However, Oklahoma leaders say that is not the case.
“There’s no law against 90 days. There’s no law against it. And you can save money, especially on the consumer side, with a lower copay,” said Rep. McEntire. “So, we did not want to mess with that at all. We want people to be able to get their 90-day supplies.”
On Monday, Insurance Commissioner Glen Mulready said representatives from CVS Caremark told him some customers can’t get their 90-day prescriptions because of “a technical and contractual issue with their employers” that can’t be fixed until next year.
“This is one of the largest companies in the world, hundreds of billions of dollars,” said Mulready. “You tell me you can’t put resources towards that to get that fixed quickly for Oklahoma consumers? I find that disingenuous at best.”
CVS Health’s full statement is below:
“We share the commitment of Commissioner Mulready and Oklahoma lawmakers to protecting Oklahomans’ access to affordable prescription drugs, and we look forward to continued dialogue with the Oklahoma Insurance Department (OID) and our clients to advance that shared goal.”
“The OID recently determined that legislation enacted in 2019 is applicable to prescription benefits for certain multistate or national employers headquartered outside the state of Oklahoma. We have discussed with the OID our concerns about the impact changing uniform benefit design could have on consumers who rely on 90-day prescriptions. We continue to discuss this matter with the Commissioner and look forward to resolving this situation with OID to avoid any interruption to patient benefits and protect Oklahomans’ access to affordable prescription drugs.”CVS Health