Healthcare startup Pill Club has started a public feud with CVS over changes to its birth control reimbursement rates.
Some shoppers and Pill Club members are calling for a boycott of the drugstore chain with hashtags #BoycottCVS and #CVSDeniesCare trending Thursday.
The Pill Club is telling its members with pharmacy coverage through CVS Caremark that they “are at risk of their birth control access being disrupted.”
CVS said in a statement Thursday that “the accusations being made by The Pill Club against CVS Caremark are extremely misleading.”
“Our coverage of contraceptives is widespread throughout our network of 68,000 pharmacies, ensuring accessible and affordable access to our members,” CVS said in a statement shared on Twitter. “The Pill Club continues to be a participating pharmacy in our network and there is no impact on its customers’ access to contraceptives.”
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The San Francisco-based startup is calling on its members to speak up and says on its website that “tens of thousands of women with CVS/Caremark pharmacy coverage could lose much-needed service through Pill Club.”
CVS said in its statement that it remains “committed to providing plan design options for our clients that includes coverage for contraceptive products,” such as birth control pills.
“We are committed to providing access to women’s health care and it is irresponsible for the Pill Club to suggest otherwise in an effort to maximize their profits at the expense of our PBM clients,” CVS said. “Ensuring that the pharmacies in our network are reimbursed appropriately based on their business models helps our clients provide cost-effective coverage for their members’ pharmacy care needs.”
Pill Club says it wants CVS to honor its “current control and the payment rates that were in place until July 5.”
“If we cannot convince CVS to change course in the next few weeks, we will have no choice but to stop serving people with CVS Caremark pharmacy benefits,” Pill Club said. “The reality is that we would be out of business if every pharmacy manager did what CVS is doing. And thousands of women would be without the birth control they need.”
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko