Pharmacy Benefit Cos. Improved Opioid Policies, Judge Says

By Adam Lidgett (July 16, 2019, 3:36 PM EDT) -- The nation's biggest pharmacy benefit management companies have voluntarily implemented policies to help clamp down on painkiller prescriptions, according to an Ohio federal judge overseeing multidistrict litigation over the opioid addiction epidemic.

U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster on Monday denied a preliminary injunction bid that sought to require CVS Caremark, Express Scripts Inc. and OptumRx Inc. to immediately adopt policies consistent with a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guideline for prescribing opioids.

The judge did this because the companies, which collectively control most of the PBM market, have been offering various "programs and utilization-management criteria" allowing their clients to...

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